Home » Politics » Karnataka Governor is drawing widespread flak for doing exactly what BJP would have wanted

Karnataka Governor is drawing widespread flak for doing exactly what BJP would have wanted

Charu Kartikeya | Updated on: 17 May 2018, 18:11 IST
(Arya Sharma)

BS Yeddyurappa's swearing in as the Chief Minister of Karnataka has rendered the midnight drama in the Supreme Court pointless. However, Governor Vajubhai Vala's decision to invite the BJP leader to form the government has not found approval of many.

Vala invited Yeddyurappa late last evening and gave him 15 days to prove majority on the floor of the state Assembly. What it effectively means is that BJP has been handed 15 days to make several Congress-JD(S) MLAs switch sides or at least abstain at the time of voting. With the charge of the state administration, BJP has also been given the power to make this happen.

Against this background, the Governor's decision has invited opprobrium from multiple quarters. While BSP chief Mayawati called the entire episode “a conspiracy to destroy the Constitution”, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said “this is what happens when RSS pracharaks occupy Constitutional positions”.

RJD also condemned the Governor's decision, with national spokesperson Manoj Jha saying he was “ashamed to see a governor acting under pressure/direction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah”.



Later in the day, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav declared that his party will hold a dharna in Patna on Friday, demanding the Governor of Bihar to follow his Karnataka counterpart's logic, dismiss the NDA government in the state and invite RJD to form the government. RJD is the single largest party in the Bihar Assembly.

AAP MP (Rajya Sabha) Sanjay Singh also said that the same logic should be applied in Manipur, Meghalaya, Goa and Bihar and the state governments there should be dismissed.


The strongest ripples of these developments were felt in Goa, where the Congress announced that it will parade its MLAs in front of Governor Mridula Sinha to demand that the BJP government be dismissed and Congress be invited to form the government, being the single-largest party in the state assembly.


Constitutional impropriety

While all these reactions indicate a growing political movement in the anti-BJP camp across the country, Governor Vala's invitation to Yeddyurappa appears not entirely in sync with the Constitution.
Catch spoke to noted constitutional expert PDT Achary, former Secretary General of the Lok Sabha, to understand how constitutionally sound was the decision. Achary said, unequivocally, that the Governor has not fulfilled his constitutional obligation.

He explained that Article 164 of the Constitution ordains the Governor to appoint the CM, but also mentions that the Council of Ministers to be subsequently appointed by the Governor on the advice of the CM must be collectively responsible to the House.

Achary said that in layman's terminology, this means that the Council of Ministers must have confidence of the House, or majority in the House. He asserted that it was a constitutional obligation on part of the Governor to invite that leader who enjoys a majority in the House, which Yeddyurappa lacks in Karnataka's case.

The former SG also recalled that in 1998, when Atal Bihari Vajpayee had staked claim to form the government, heading an alliance of parties, President KR Narayanan ascertained the reality of Vajpayee's claim himself and then invited him to form the government.

First published: 17 May 2018, 18:11 IST
Charu Kartikeya @CharuKeya

Assistant Editor at Catch, Charu enjoys covering politics and uncovering politicians. Of nine years in journalism, he spent six happily covering Parliament and parliamentarians at Lok Sabha TV and the other three as news anchor at Doordarshan News. A Royal Enfield enthusiast, he dreams of having enough time to roar away towards Ladakh, but for the moment the only miles he's covering are the 20-km stretch between home and work.