Breach of Constitutional Propriety by Governor

Synopsis: Governor Dhankhar’s official visit to violence-hit areas is a breach of constitutional propriety.

Introduction 

The West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar’s recently visited areas hit by post-poll violence in Cooch Behar.  This starts grave disobedience of the limits of constitutional decorum.

  • The governor ignored the norm that constitutional heads should not show their differences with the elected rules in public. In December 2020, Ms. Banerjee had appealed to the President to recall the Governor for his political statements. 

Share some other instances of governors leaving their limits of office and voicing their opinion publically.

It may be debated that the current situation in West Bengal is different from those in which other Governors had dropped the limits of their office as post-election violence is something that should not be witnessed at all in electoral democracy.

  • Firstly, Mr Dhankhar’s criticised the government of West Bengal openly. His visit to Cooch Behar is a louder action that indicates derogation of the elected regime.
    • The Governor’s visit to a scene of violence cannot be justified as a sign to show unity with victims.
  • Secondly, Tamil Nadu Governor, M. Channa Reddy, visited the RSS headquarters in 1993 in Chennai after a bomb explosion there.
  • Thirdly, the then West Bengal Governor, Gopalkrishna Gandhi got some criticism for ignoring the limits of the constitutional office. He stated the cold horror at the police firing that left 14 protesters dead at Nandigram in 2007.

The way forward  

  • The governor’s larger belief should not offer public comment on situations handled by the ruling regime.
  • Even if someone views that the situation was because of the regime’s inaction, principles should be followed. Any advice or warning the Governor wants to give to the elected government must to in private and in confidence.
  • To conclude, West Bengal has certainly failed by allowing post-poll celebrations to attacks the losing side. The responsibility is on the incumbent chief minister to restore order and end the violence. She believed that the degree of the violence was being blown up by the Opposition.

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