National

Travesty of norms: Congress on President’s rule in Maharashtra

Randeep Surjewala

Randeep Surjewala  

Party targets Governor over Maharashtra impasse

The Congress on Tuesday alleged that Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had made a “mockery” of the constitutional process and a “travesty of democratic norms” by recommending President's Rule in the State.

The party’s chief spokesperson, Randeep Surjewala, questioned the Governor’s “arbitrary allotment of time” to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the Shiv Sena and the BJP.

“Governor Koshyari has committed a grave travesty of democracy and made a mockery of the constitutional process in recommending President’s Rule,” he said.

He said the Supreme Court guidelines in the S.R. Bommai judgment was not followed and four violations of the constitutional scheme stood out.

“In absence of any single party having majority in Maharashtra, Governor should have called; 1. Single largest pre-poll alliance i.e BJP-Shiv Sena together; Then 2. second largest post poll alliance i.e Congress-NCP;” he said.

“In case Governor called individual parties, why did he not call INC. And above all why the completely arbitrary allotment of time? 48 hours to BJP, 24 hours to Sena and not even 24 hours to NCP, before the Presidents Rule,” he said.

“This is unashamedly dishonest and politically motivated.”

The Congress’s aggressive posturing comes after the party dithered all of Monday over the question of supporting a Shiv Sena-led coalition.

“People blaming the 4th largest party for being unable to aid the #MaharashtraGovtFormation are just unbelievable and unfathomable,” said party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi in a tweet.

In another tweet, he said, “it was not President's rule but the malicious BJP's political rule”.

Mr. Singhvi, who is also a senior Supreme Court lawyer, said that President’s Rule can, at best, be a tactic to reach out to groups and legislators for the ruling side but the Governor was bound to invite a political party or an alliance the moment they produced the numbers for government formation.

Another senior Congress leader and former Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said, “Once we have letters of support, the President's rule can be lifted.”

Leader of the Opposition in the 13th Assembly Vijay Wadettiwar of the Congress said, “President's rule will not be a roadblock in government formation as it will be lifted the moment the numbers are there”.

Former Home Minister Shivraj Patil, however, took a somewhat different view. “I don’t know why it has been done. Maybe there are certain reason which we don’t know... It is very difficult to comment without knowing the reasons.”

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 4:24:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/travesty-of-norms-congress-on-presidents-rule-in-maharashtra/article29955751.ece

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