M. Malleswara Rao

HYDERABAD: A crucial constitutional question has arisen before Governor N.D. Tiwari whether members of Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s Cabinet will continue to remain Ministers after his death.

Mr. Tiwari referred the issue to the government for its opinion through a letter to Chief Secretary P. Ramakanth Reddy, soon after K. Rosaiah was sworn in Chief Minister on September 3.

The government has prepared a letter for submission to Mr. Tiwari after consultations with Advocate-General D.V. Sitarama Murthy.

It is understood that Mr. Murthy has given a detailed opinion in the form of a report with several annexures, all running into nearly 40 pages.

At the time of his swearing-in as Chief Minister, Mr. Rosaiah handed over a letter to the Governor suggesting that all 35 members of the Council of Ministers constituted earlier be allowed to continue in the position.

“No legal basis”

It is said in some legal quarters that Mr. Rosaiah’s request had no legal basis and that those in YSR’s Cabinet would have to take oath again as a constitutional obligation. Citing Article 164, they say Ministers are administered the oath of office on the advice of the Chief Minister, and once the Chief Minister resigns or dies in office, his advice will no longer be binding.

The Chief Secretary told The Hindu that the government would examine legal and Constitutional angles before conveying its opinion to the Governor.

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