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Mixed legal response to Karnataka Governor row

Mixed legal response to Karnataka Governor row

New Delhi: There has been a mixed response to Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala’s decision to allow the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form a government in the state with the proviso that it must establish its majority on the floor of the state assembly within 15 days.

Watching the political developments from the sidelines, constitutional experts gave a mixed response to the Governor Vala’s move to allow B.S. Yeddyurappa to become the 23rd chief minister of Karnataka.

Senior lawyer and former union cabinet minister Ram Jethmalani insisted that all was not right in Karnataka and accused the governor of political skullduggery. He said that democratic processes must be followed in letter and spirit. On the other hand, former Lok Sabha Secretary General Subhash Kashyap said it was wrong on the part of the opposition Congress party and the Janata Dal-Secular to take the matter to the Supreme Court, and added that the governor is well within his constitutional powers to invite the party with the largest number of seats to form the government.

“Whatever happens, the democratic process must be carried out honestly. Maybe sometimes that process may go wrong, but this is not the way it (the governor’s office) interferes, at least, there has to be open publicity about what the BJP has said to the governor. That he (the Karnataka governor) has done this type of stupid action, if you don’t disclose the facts to the people, then, that itself is enough misbehaviour in a constitutional office in a democracy,” Jethmalani said.

Terming Governor Vala’s decision to make Yeddyurappa the next chief minister of Karnataka as an open invitation to practice corruption, Jethmalani said, “This is an invitation to do that, I don’t know whether the governor himself is a party to earn this money, anything is possible now. If he is advising others to practice corruption, then he must be corrupt himself.”

Kashyap, a Secretary-General of 7th, 8th and 9th Lok Sabhas, said, “I think it’s very unfortunate that the Supreme Court has been dragged into this political power struggle. The drama that unfolded after midnight was unnecessary as the constitutional proceedings were clear. The decision to choose a party to form the government lies with the governor of every state. Each governor, under his discretion, can choose. Even the Supreme Court chose not to delay the swearing-in ceremony as they recognised the governor’s power to choose under his discretion,” he said. (ANI)