The Legitimate Desk: Resolve
The Minuscule time gap of few hours to bar Mehbooba Mufti from any formation is unworthy of a violation of Democratic norms
India is a union of states with federal structure of government. The constitution declares it democratic and republic in the preamble. While as the democracy ensures the choice of people as representatives in government, the republic desires an elected head of state rather than monarchy.
Apart from this constitution ipso facto mentions the nip and tuck structure of government at state level with limited integration and limited supervision except that of the post of Governor.
Like President, Governor is a constitutional post which is appointed by President on advice of central government.
Due to some prevailing lacunae’s this post emerged more as an instrument for political bickering than smooth functioning of centre state relations.
It’s a down dragon in the path of complete federation. That’s why the experts term the country’s structure of government as Federal with Unitary bias. It’s Midway between British structure and USA structure.
The Governor is authorised to appoint Chief Minister at state level. According to parliamentary convention the Majority party leader is appointed as CM.
And the floors test is sought to prove the majority. Since ours is a multi party democracy, Coalition is but a permanent feature of Indian politics now.
Same happened in the northernmost state where PDP, BJP, NC and INC took respective positions in the elections. As per mandate the then Governor called in Mufti Sayed who engineered an infamous coalition with BJP.
Thereafter the story of ifs and buts with Sayed’s untimely death proved souring tension in partners. Some thorny issues ultimately act upon Mehbooba Mufti led government and the state as per section 92 of Jammu and Kashmir constitution was put under Governor Rule.
The constitution puts the suspension or dissolution of assembly under Governor’s discretion after nobody stakes claim and state is administered by Governor himself.
This way the novice Governor Satya Pal Malik ruled the roast. He most often issued controversial but we’ll taken statements regarding corruption etc.
However recently the politics of state seems agitated when three parties of NC, PDP and INC started constructing a coalition. Governor suddenly appeared to dissolve the assembly.
It’s in this backdrop that the time span of Governor Rule of six months lapsed which necessitates further announcement of Presidents rule.
The Governor himself issued the statement a day before the drama for continuation of Governor Rule under Indian constitution now.
It was all surprised that the letter posted by Mehbooba Mufti staking claim with support of 56 MLA’s wasn’t received due to faulty FAX Machine or so and so which was later viral on Social media.
However the press note to dissolve assembly as read ” Governor Satya Pal Malik has passed and order in exercise of his powers under constitution of JK under section 92 sub section and section 53 hereby dissolve the legislative assembly”.
The Governor in case of the power isn’t liable for answering however the way it was implemented is questionable.
The miniscule time gap of few hours to bar Mehbooba Mufti from any government formation is unworthy of and violation of Democratic norms.
The constitution is Crystal clear for the relationship with Governor to be concerned only about majority that too not on guess or mere conscience but proven in assembly.
The Constitution talks of appointment of CM by Governor with only condition of majority support. He isn’t authorised to delve into political ideologies of coalition partners.
The Supreme Court in this direction has issued a list of recommendations for relationship of Governor and CM. I. S R Bommai case of 1992 the situation if aroused of any lack of confidence in the Government has to be tested at floor of house.
The mere satisfaction of Governor is unconstitutional. In other words the necessary and sufficient condition for government formation before Governor is to seek floor test for majority not the nature of government or nature of political lineage.
The said case also mentions that if any state government is put under President’s rule without any due consideration for government formation it would be liable for central government to hire responsibility.
Apart from this almost all the commissions established so far have recommended assembly to be sole place for confidence on government. It’s in this backdrop that Satya Pal Malik’s decision emerged controversial.
The time and way if implementing discretionary power has again attracted criticism. The strategy of sidelining viable government formation is yet another example of this highly honoured post being manufactured.
The history of Democratic development of India is replete with stories where constitutional office became spoon in the dishes of political parties.
Having said that the explanation sought was replied in an extreme sense with imagination that “the Alliance couldn’t have provided stable government”.
However if seen through unbiased narrative BJP vs PDP are ideologically most opponent political parties in country.
Is the time factor so essential to be Holy or unholy? Omar Abdullah reacted logically if for that matter PDP and BJP was one of unholy Alliance ever in country.
The other explanation of security environment is a paradox. Security of state is widely a central controlled aspect all the time.
The central security forces armed with AFSPA are engaged in the job and the whole country with elaborate arrangement of strategists is administering security of turmoil state.
The decision wasn’t attractive seen in backdrop of rapport the Governor earned with corruption free way of governance and prompt decisions.
The people of JK have reposed faith in the office of Governor correlated with Mr Satya Pal Malik who unfortunately call the shots with seemingly unpleasant decision to wait long untill last moment dissolution.
It Sparks row for the time he took otherwise the period in between would have not seen assembly in suspense.
Whether something was roasted in background or something was fishy is going to come out in near future? The decision of parties to move judiciary calls for prolonged political instability and promise the Uttrakhand way of justice for political circles across Kashmir.
After all Democracy has to prevail to prove John Locke wrong who barred British from introducing democracy in India. Will it happen?
Writer Shahid Majeed Mir hails from Lolab kupwara and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org