Remove Raj From Raj Bhawans

Source: The post is based on an article “Remove Raj From Raj Bhawanspublished in The Times of India on 13th January 2023.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Indian Polity

Relevance: issue associated with the Governor

News: The article discusses the changing role of the Governor from the British period to the recent times.

What were the roles of the Governor of the British era?

Governors of British provinces could overrule elected ministers, make laws and ordinances, restrict proceedings in the legislatures, dismiss a minister, or even dismiss the entire government and take back the reins.

They could withhold assent to any legislation according to their will. In appointing ministers, the governor could choose representatives from any community he wanted.

However, this changed after the adoption of the Constitution.

What changes were brought in the role of Governors by the Constitution?

Governors were made nominal heads of state, with the powers of appointing ministers, summoning the legislature, assenting to Bills, and calling for President’s rule.

However, with time, governors became a medium through which the Union could interfere in state politics. For example, misuse of the President’s rule.

The Supreme Court in 1994 said that issues of forming a government had to be settled through votes of confidence in the state legislature.

However, even here the governor could influence the outcome of the vote by deciding which party would get the first chance to prove its majority.

Governors have an important role to play in handling political crises and cautioning elected governments while remaining non-aligned with any political party.

However, this has not been the case as it is evident from the tussle between Tami Nadu government and the Governor, Delhi government and the L-G, etc.

Read More: Bad and ugly – A Governor’s departure from convention has set off unsavoury events

What can be the way ahead?

The appointment and removal process of the governor should change. Today, the Union government enjoys this power which ultimately misuses it.

Therefore, a new system should be brought for the appointment and removal of the Governor. Governors should also be made accountable to the Union, the state and the Rajya Sabha through their appointments and removals.

 

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