It refers to renewed demands including by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for abolition of ‘useless’ posts of state-Governors after recent episodes in Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh when reports of respective state Governors subsequent to Supreme Court verdicts became a cause of big embarrassment for central government and even President of India.
It is a bitter reality that posts of state-Governors have been often misused at behest of political rulers having appointed them. At times, raaj-bhawans are seen working as party-headquarters of the ruling party at the centre.
Governors in states are usually considered like ‘white elephants’ with huge burden on public-exchequers with practically no role other than to appoint Chief Ministers, which can be done by Chief Justices of respective states. Even the then Madhya Pradesh Governor B Pattabhi Sitaramayya long back in the year 1956 observed that state-Governor has no role other than to send fortnightly reports to President of India. The Then Uttar Pradesh governor Sarojini Naidu during her tenure between 1947-1949 expressed state-Governor like a bird imprisoned in the golden-cage.
However in federal structure of Constitution, links are necessary between central and respective state-governments. Reforms are necessary whereby only non-politicians like retired judges or bureaucrats be appointed as state-governors, with binding of their not joining active politics after retirement. In case of violation, all their pensions and other benefits even for their earlier-held posts may be forfeited.
Discretionary and often-misused power of governors in selecting Chief Ministers can and should be curtailed by formulating a system whereby Chief Minister, Speaker and Deputy Speaker may be simultaneously elected by secret and compulsory vote of all members of lower House on nominations signed by at least 34-percent members through Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) thereby abolishing any need of a post of Governor.
Such elected persons may be removed only by same process but with compulsion to name alternate leader in the same motion. Members not participating in such a democratic process of electing leaders of the House may lose right of voting in State Legislative Assembly.
SUBHASH CHANDRA AGRAWAL
775 Kucha Lattushah
Dariba, Chandni Chowk
DELHI 110006 (India)