Hindu Vivek Kendra
«« Back
Recall Gujarat Governor: BJP

Recall Gujarat Governor: BJP

Author: Pioneer News Service
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: August 31, 2011
URL: http://www.dailypioneer.com/home/online-channel/360-todays-newspaper/2726-recall-gujarat-governor-bjp.html

MPs decry Kamla for bypassing CM over Lokayukta appointment

The storm over the high-handedness of the Gujarat Governor in the appointment of the State's Lokayukta reached the national Capital on Tuesday disrupting Parliament and setting the stage for another bitter battle between the Congress and the BJP.

With the Centre and the Congress defending Governor Kamla Beniwal's decision to appoint Justice (retired) RA Mehta as the Lokayukta without consulting the Narendra Modi Government, BJP MPs have decided to knock the doors of President Pratibha Patil on September 2 seeking the recall of the Governor. The State Government has already challenged the appointment before the Gujarat High Court, and the matter would come up for hearing next week.

"The Constitution provides that the Governor should act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers. It was violated in case of Gujarat as the Governor appointed the Lokayukta without consulting the CM," BJP's parliamentary party chairman LK Advani said in the Lok Sabha. Advani later led party MPs from Gujarat in protest outside the Parliament House.

The MPs shouted slogans against the Governor demanding her recall. Some of them held placards saying, "Dual policy on Gujarat will not be tolerated", "Recall Gujarat Governor", "murder of democracy", and "Rajyapal Bhawan has become Congress Bhawan (Governor's House has become Congress Bhawan)". The BJP stalled the proceedings in both Houses of Parliament.

In Gujarat, BJP's State unit launched a "recall Governor" drive with a dharna and a rally near the statue of Sardar Patel at Sardar Baug of Lal Darwaza area in the city. Led by State BJP president RC Faldu, the dharna was attended by several senior leaders and legislators of the party.

After Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa had to quit following indictment in a Lokayukta report, the BJP fears the Congress could resort to a similar act in Gujarat. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said, "We have every reason to believe that Governor was nudged by people in Delhi."

The BJP questioned Mehta's credentials and called him an "activist". Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj also lashed out at previous Governors for trying to sabotage the Modi Government's intention to appoint a Lokayukta.

Swaraj claimed at least three separate recommendations from the State Government since 2006 for appointment Lokayukta could not see the light of the day. While two candidates --- Justice (retired) Kshitij R Vyas and Justice (Retired) JR Vohra --- were accommodated in Maharashtra Human Rights Commission and Judicial Academy and were subsequently unavailable for Lokayukta's post, Justice (Retired) SD Dave opted out. "There was obviously something more than what meets the eye," Swaraj claimed.

The Modi Government is opposed to Mehta as he has been an active campaigner against the State Government on issues relating to Narmada project and post-Godhra riots of 2002. "How reports of such a person could be trustworthy," Jaitley asked the Government in Rajya Sabha, saying reports of a Lokayukta appointed with "such malafides" cannot be trusted.

But Union Law Minister Salman Khursheed and Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said under the Lokayukta Act of Gujarat the Governor was supposed to consult only the Chief Justice of the High Court and now since the Modi Government has already approached the court in the matter, it should be left for the judiciary to decide the matter.

"The act, as I understand, says the Governor will consult the Chief Justice. You can't read things into it. And if the act means something else, says something else, the courts will decide. How can we decide?" Kursheed said.

Singhvi charged that the BJP was talking of Lokpal in Delhi while thwarting its appointment in the State which showed it is utterly hypocritical.

He said that under the law, the Governor had the discretionary power in a number of issues including in the appointment of Lokayukta. From 1986 to 2003 for 17 years the Governor had made the appointment on the basis of recommendation of the Chief Justice.

Moreover, in 2010 when Chief Justice of the High Court suggested Justice Dave's name for Lokayukta nothing was done for months by the State Government so Justice Mehta's name was recommended by Chief Justice in 2011 as most suitable for appointment. But again the CM did nothing for months so the Chief Justice once again made the recommendation to the CM and sent a copy of the letter to the Governor saying that after scrutiny Justice Mehta has been found to be the most suitable candidate for Lokayukta.

For its part, the BJP also played to the Opposition gallery by cautioning non-UPA allies that the "attack on federalism" may not be limited to Gujarat next time. "This applies to every Opposition party, which is in power in the State. This may not be limited to Gujarat," Jaitley said. On Tuesday, NDA convener Sharad Yadav also threw his weight behind the BJP saying Governors across the country were ignoring democratically elected Governments to take "unilateral decisions".

Constitutional Impropriety?

* BJP MPs claim it is 'murder of democracy'; to meet President on September 2

* It (Constitution) was violated in case of Gujarat as the Governor appointed the Lokayukta without consulting the CM, LK Advani told the Lok Sabha

* The newly-appointed Lokayukta has been an active campaigner against the Modi Govt on several issues. We have every reason to believe that Governor was nudged by people in Delhi, says Arun Jaitley

Back                          Top

«« Back
  Search Articles
  Special Annoucements