Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
If persons devoid of democratic wisdom are being posted as Governors in the Provinces, the Prime Minister of the Country must be held responsible for that.
If Governors, not devoid of democratic wisdom, fail to use that wisdom in circumstance like the one that has emerged in Orissa, the Prime Minister of the Country must also be held responsible for that, as it is the PM’s duty to ensure that the Governor does not push a Province into political anarchy by helping a disqualified person to continue as Chief Minister.
If the Central Government keeps quite when a Governor helps a disqualified Chief Minister to continue, it must be assumed that he must have done so under the pressure of the Prime Minister of the Country.
For a case study Orissa offers the field.
The Governor has allowed Sri Navin Patnaik, to continue as Chief Minister and has forced the Orissa Legislative Assembly to be used as a slate on which shall be written on March 11 the avoidable alphabets of political brow beating.
The Assembly that had legislatively concluded its life on termination of the last session has been activated for the day to legitimatize an illegitimate work the Governor has done by not asking for resignation of Sri Patnaik after the alliance that had made him the Chief Minister was, on records, abolished.
Navin Patnaik was never the Chief Minister as the leader of BJD. He was never the Chief Minister as leader of a post-election coalition. He was the Chief Minister as the authorized leader of the combine of BJD and BJP that had coalesced before the election and had obtained the peoples mandate to form the coalition government. So legally, after end of the alliance, legitimacy of Chief-ministership of Navin Patnaik had ended and thereafter he was legally disqualified to continue in the same post.
The Governor has, therefore, erred in allowing Navin to continue.
The only legal step he could have taken to keep him in power was to ask for and accept his resignation after death of the alliance and to ask him to continue as caretaker CM till a new CM takes over. Even he could have appointed him afresh as the CM along with a cabinet immediately after his resignation and that should have been legal and legitimate. But sadly it never happened.
The Assembly called to business on March 11 has to decide as to whether Sri Patnaik has the majority support behind him to continue in Office! Nothing more farcical than this is possible in a Governor’s role in Parliamentary democracy.
Navin is no more entitled to continue as CM as the alliance that had put him in this position is dead. In other words, he has become disqualified, in terms of democratic prudence, to continue as CM. So how can a disqualified person be allowed to seek a confidence vote?
And, does confidence vote confirms peoples’ confidence and serves democracy?
The option of confidence vote preferred by politicians in power, has, of late, generated such sort of nasty scenarios that the peoples have started looking at it with speculative suspicions, which, in fact, injures democracy.
There is no necessity of saying that as long as there are satyrs to pay, there shall never be any dearth of prostitutes to rush to whosoever of them opens up the purse.
In politics, specifically in legislative politics, the jargon used to describe such a phenomenon in the premise of no-confidence or confidence votes is known as horse-trading.
Mr. K. P. Singhdeo “appointed” by the Congress High Command as the chief of Orissa Pradesh Congress has alleged that horse-trading is being resorted to by Navin to win the confidence vote on March 11.
Who is more competent than a leader “appointed” by the supreme leadership of the Congress to presage this?
In Singhdeo’s presage, we see the reflection of what exactly had happened when Manmohan Singh had sought for confidence vote after the left parties had withdrawn support from the central government in the context of the nuke deal.
If experience counts, Congress is qualified to assume what tricks are in employment to ensure confidence vote for Navin.
Knowing that tradable flesh is not scarce in political market and knowing that it would be not difficult for Navin to win the confidence vote, why has the Congress not rejected the call of the Governor to the Assembly on March 11?
It is simply because, notwithstanding how much acrobatics it exhibits to show to peoples that it opposes Navin, the Congress has used its agents in BJD to push the BJP into unforeseen disadvantage in Orissa by suddenly but shrewdly setting shenanigans to kill the ruling alliance and thereby to shatter Advani’s calculations and on the other hand to shorten the distance it politically had from the other server of American interest such as of POSCO and its likes.
Instead of rejecting the Governor’s call to allow Navin’s majority to be tested in the Assembly, by cooperating in attending the Assembly, irrespective of whether or not it participates in voting, the Congress has helped the Governor legitimatize his illegitimate retention of Navin as CM in stark disregard of the legal position that with death of the pre-election BJD-BJP alliance, legitimacy of Navin’s incumbency had died.
The Governor is clearly in error. But behind this error, one is unable not to see the ugly face of the scheming Congress that is running the central government and through it controlling from behind the Governor.