Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Chief Minister Navin Patnaik claimed to have won the confidence vote in Orissa Legislative Assembly on March 11, but he has failed to convince the State Governor that it was not stage-managed.

The governor has reviewed the records of the proceedings of the Assembly and has taken stock of occurrences of the day from the Chief Marshal of the House and has also taken account of events from the Speaker. Convinced that there is no record of voting, he, on summoning the Advocate General, has this evening consulted on the legality of accepting or nullifying the reported result of the confidence motion.

It is being speculated that he may summon the Assembly afresh to allow Sri Patnaik to show his majority on records.

In our view, that would, as we have already shown in these pages, be repetition of wrong on part of the Governor.

It was wrong on part of the Governor to have allowed Sri Patnaik to continue as the CM and to prove his majority on March 11. Legally Sri Patnaik was not entitled to continue as the CM after death of the alliance he was heading. He was the CM only on the basis of being the leader of the BJP-BJD alliance that had sought for and obtained mandate. When that alliance was extinguished, the basis on which he was appointed as CM was automatically extinct. So the only option available to the Governor was to ask for his resignation on acceptance of which he could have done two things, such as, he could have authorized him to continue as care-taker CM till a new Government takes over or he could have appointed him instantly as the new CM so that there should not have arisen the necessity of confidence vote

Let the Governor not repeat the wrong. Let him ask for resignation of Sri Patnaik and then let him ask Sri Patnaik to continue as care-taker CM or let him appoin Sri Patnaik afresh. If he does not prefer these arrangements, let him recommend for President’s rule in the State. But let him not repeat illegal steps.

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