Modi Government is under fire for several misdoings. Farmers Agitation has enlarged its base to pan India against BJP especially in four states ie, West Bengal, Assam, Tamilnadu and Kerala and Pondicherry (UT). Farmers have also announced “Bharat Bandh” call on March 26. They are mobilizing the public support in their favour in a big way. They have given open call to voters of all the constituencies going to poll to ensure BJP’s defeat, come what may. But tactically they have not clearly given their mind in favour of any regional party. But cards are crystal clear. Bank and LIC Employees are on roads against privatisation of public sector financial institutions which were nationalised long back by Mrs India Gandhi. Corona Vaccination efficacy is yet not clear in public mind. There is spurt in virus cases in several states including Punjab. But Modi -Shah duo is all set for assembly elections at fixed schedule despite alarming pandemic statistics. Their slogan,”dwaayee bhi, sakhtaayee bhi” strictness along with medicine is fairly viral on,” Godi media”(Biased)TV channels.
Keeping its track for side lining constitutional obligations as a democratically ( nay EVM) elected Government, it has initiated an unprecedented move to introduce in Lok Sabha(lower House)through Minister of state G Kishan Reddy, amendments to the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act 1991. First amendment in Section 21 clearly seeks the expression ‘Government ‘ to be read as Lieutenant Governor in laws passed by the Legislative Assembly. Opinion of the L-G has to be invariably sought for any executive orders for even routine matters of governance. Second amendment is proposed in Section 24,which deals with according assent to the Bills passed by the Legislative Assembly. Consequently the Lieutenant Governor will neither sign any Bill nor will pass on to President any matter hitherto being sent as per rules contained in the above said Act.
This dubious move by Narendra Modi Government raises many eyebrows. Worst-hit will be Aam Aadmi Party’s Delhi Government headed by Arvind Kejriwal for the time being. In sharp criticism to the Bill, It’s Deputy CM ,Manish Sisodia has deplored this move as Unconstitutional and Undemocratic. Whereas Chief Minister has declared it as a desperate act of the Centre to find a’ Back-door’ entry to curtail the powers of the elected government. It is also against the judgement of the Supreme Court Constitution Bench given clearly in 2018. This development has several side effects on the ongoing elections too. BJP wants to send strong signals to the people of its vast majority in Lok Sabha on the one hand and imminent dangers to the governments lead by opposition parties on the other hand. It seems that the doubts raised about the political pressure on Judiciary by the political forces are justified. Many eminent jurists, constitutional experts and political analysts have given vent to their opinion on this issue. They refer the case of Jammu and Kashmir scenario also. Governor is the custodian of constitutional values enshrined to ensure the working of state government towards welfare state. He can put forth his opinion on various matters but he is definitely bound to give assent to the laws or bills passed by the elected government in the Assembly House.
Unfortunately barring a few, majority of the Governors act as representatives of Home Minister. He is more concerned and answerable to the dictater of Central Government. It reminds the people of the Resident Agent’s role in the ‘Durbar’ of Maharajas under British Rule before independence. Few months back, Punjab Governor did not send the file regarding Farming Bills duly passed by the Legislative Assembly by majority vote. No doubt the situation in Delhi is a little different than other full fledged state but undermining the role of elected government is definitely a ploy showing political ego of the leaders at helm of affairs which can set wrong precedent. Governors have played their role of framing BJP governments even if elections did not provide majority to the party. Horse trading was in vogue in the very knowledge of Governor. Few reports are also to show that the office of Governor is the hub of implementing RSS agenda of ’One Nation, One Religion‘ in the states. No comments from the worthy Prime Minister on such issues, no press conferences, only ‘Mann ki baat’, more involvement in state elections speak about his hidden agenda. Only ‘bending and not mending’ policy speaks of dictatorial democracy, a new polity never seen before.
So all the democratic forces, political parties, conscience keepers of the nation should join their hands together to raise strong voice against this unconstitutional, biased, and politically motivated move so that lofty principles of secularism, freedom from poverty, reducing economic gaps, justice for all and freedom of speech etc are preserved in the biggest democracy on this planet. Winning majority seats in Parliamentary Election does not mean usurping power to crush the dissident voice which is the most beautiful characteristic of a vibrant democracy. World too is watching all developments with all eagerness on day to day basis.
– R. K. SINGH
Bureau Chief (India)