|Demand of the question|
Introduction. Contextual introduction.
Body. Discuss various reasons for creating Union Territories in India and how to prevent conflicts in Union Territories with elected legislatures in India.
Conclusion. Way forward.
A union territory is a type of administrative division in the Republic of India. Unlike the states of India, which have their own governments, union territories are federal units governed directly by the union government. The elements of conflict and discord are common to Union Territories with elected legislatures which hinders the smooth administration of the region. For instance tussle between LG of Delhi with its chief minister.
Reasons for creation of Union Territories in India: The union territories have been created for a variety of reasons. These are mentioned below:
- Political and administrative Reasons:Union Territory can be created for Political and administrative reasons to ensure better governance. E.g. Delhi and Chandigarh.
- Cultural distinctiveness: UTs are created to conserve and secure the culture of a region distinctive from the surrounding state. Puducherry, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu were created due to these reasons.
- Strategic importance: Due to location and international borders, some areas are important strategically and for security of India. Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep and now Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir are created Due to strategic significance.
- Special treatment and care of the backward and tribal people:Many UTs were created due to special needs and to secure benefits and rights to tribal people. Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh which later became states were created due to these reasons.
Reasons for conflict and discord in Union Territories with elected legislatures in India:
- Relationship with centre: Their relationship with Centre is unitary and not federal. A Union Territory with a legislature, like Delhi and Puducherry, has its own assembly and elected MLAs. But the final decision rests with Lieutenant Governor, appointed by the Centre. This is the primary source of conflict.
- Central control: They are under the direct control and administration of the Centre. Thus, centre influence directly in working of these administrative units.
- Lack of autonomy: Union territories do not have much autonomy. Most of the decisions need approval of the Lieutenant
What should be done to prevent such conflicts?
- Constitutional limitations: The Centre must ensure that it doesn’t go beyond its constitutional limitations. Efforts must be made to work and administer according to legal and constitutional framework.
- Work in unison: The Supreme Court had emphasised on the need for constitutional morality and constitutional trust among high dignitaries, implying that Lt. Governors and Chief Ministers must work in unison as far as possible.
- Resolving difference of opinion: In the event of an unresolved difference of opinion, the Lieutenant Governor should refer it to the President for a decision.
- Cooperative federalism: Instead of seeing UT as a unitary features centre must follow the spirit of cooperative federalism in order to prevent conflicts and work with UT elected assemblies.
LGs/Governors cannot usurp rights of an elected government. The Centre must ensure that powers of LGs should not overcome and hinder the working of the elected government. Any unresolved issue must be referred to the President with emphasis on making administration smooth and functioning.