Twists and turns


As we witness the drama and dilemmas in the formation of State governments we must ponder over B.R. Ambedkar’s prescient words, and how strong our fidelity is to constitutional principles. It is pointless to talk of morality, constitutional values and gubernatorial excess when none of the players has shown any concern for the same principles and proprieties. It was a naked power game in which the BJP came up trumps. Dilly-dallying, deliberate dalliance or deft design proves the old adage that politics is an art of improbabilities and impossibilities. All eyes will be on the Pawars, whether the uncle was really clueless about what the nephew did or whether it was all scripted.

J. Akshobhya,


Yesterday it was Goa and Karnataka. Today it is Maharashtra. But the message is same: the motive of political parties across the political specturm is to capture power by hook or by crook (Editorial, “Midnight coup”, November 25) . It is a shame that much after the announcement of the elcetoral results, government formation in Maharashtra has been torturous. It would be fit if the Constitution is amended and it is ensured that fractured verdicts do not delay government formation and people being inconvenienced. In such circumstances, government formation should be with the participation of all parties based on their vote share. Such a move would ends political uncertainty besides checks all types of unethical inducements.

Kshirasagara Balaji Rao,


There is no need to take a dip in the Ganges to wash away your sins. It is enough if you either join the BJP or take sides with them. The midnight coup has only illustrated how not just our politicians but also even constitutional authorities are more than willing to circumvent the rule of law to take a biased decision. While Devendra Fadnavis, the Chief Minister, was in the Opposition benches prior to 2014, not a single day passed without him taking potshots at Ajit Pawar in the Assembly for his alleged involvement in an irrigation scam. It is bizarre that he has no compunction now in working with the same person as his deputy for the sake of power. One feels sorry for the voters of Maharashtra who stood in serpentine queues to elect a government, but only to find the lawmakers doing anything but attend to critical issues that await redress. Neither are they sure about the government’s stability. That such unsavoury incidents are happening in States such as Maharashtra would impact negatively even the investment climate. One only wishes the Assembly is dissolved and fresh elections held.

V. Subramanian,

Dombivli, Thane, Maharashtra

Keeping aside for a moment that what is happening in Maharashtra is sheer power politics, what is more noteworthy is that high Constitutional functionaries, namely the President of India, the Prime Minister and the Governor have thrown to the winds the high principles of electoral democracy by calling upon the BJP backed by Ajit Pawar to form the government in Maharashtra. This is a totally partisan and not a constitutional approach on the part of the President and the Governor who evidently owes allegiance to the ruling party. Instead of allowing the BJP to form a government which it was earlier unable to do so, the Governor, in all fairness, should have called the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine, which had formed an alliance, to form the government and subjected them to a floor test as in the Bommai case. The matter is now before the Supreme Court — a situation which could well have been avoided had the elected leaders and appointed constitutional functionaries owed true faith and allegiance to the Constitution and not the government of the day.

N.G.R. Prasad,

K.K. Ram Siddhartha,


One can only hope that the Maharashtra theatre teaches a lesson to voters that political parties are interpreting the people’s mandate solely to serve themselves. Another tragedy is how Governors, unbecoming of the constitutional status of the chairs they occupy, end up furthering the interests of the ruling party at the Centre along with their self-interests. The common man fails to understand the ‘urgency and emergency’ with which the Prime Minister recommends withdrawal of President’s rule in the State at an odd hour and of the President of India being prepared very early in the day to affix his signature on his proclamation. Parliament seems to be unwilling to make effective legislation in the areas concerned, perhaps commensurate with the self-centred, corrupt and criminalised politics of India.

P.R.V. Raja,

Pandalam, Kerala

The midnight coup installing BJP government in Maharashtra with the support of rebel members from NCP, shows how greedy the BJP is for power that too obtained through unscrupulous methods. (Editorial, “Midnight coup”, November 25). The BJP’s only aim seems to be to rule all the States by hook or by crook; in this process they are taking unprecedented actions that have the potential to create constitutional and legal crises. The most disturbing factor is that the President of India and the Governor, who are considered as ‘no party men’ and who are the guardians of Constitution and democratic procedures, have been made to appear like are made as puppets of the ruling party. In every action of the BJP there is neither transparency nor inclusiveness, as asserted by the Prime Minister. There is only adamancy and autocracy. The main reason for the BJP’s autocratic and undesirable actions can be traced to the absence of a strong opposition.

D. Sethuraman,


When the political class has banished morality from its lexicon, it seems futile looking for saints and sinners in the bizarre drama being enacted on Maharashtra’s political stage. We can endlessly argue about the relative extent of venality showed by the BJP and the Opposition parties. If the BJP’s midnight coup was prompted by a relentless quest for power, so has been the attempt by the ideologically antagonistic Opposition parties joining to form a government. What decides a party’s potential for mischief is the resources it commands and the ability and willingness to deploy them regardless of ethical compulsions. Sad is the fact that it has forced the people to watch the unfolding skullduggery as helpless spectators.

Representative democracy’s uncorrected flaws and unresolved ambiguities have devalued the people’s role as mere button-pushers on election day. The voters have no tools to make the dishonest politicians accountable for their behaviour: they have no choice but to wait for five years to teach a lesson to the mandate-betrayers,

V.N. Mukundarajan,


What happened in Maharashtra on Friday-Saturday night has been correctly termed a ‘midnight coup’. It is absolutely evident and quite astonishing to know that the three supreme heads of the state, the President, the Prime Minister and the Governor have perhaps jointly done this in favour of the BJP against the basic principles of democracy. It is no wonder if the BJP seeks more time for a floor test as it always needs time to uproot the voters’ mandate to form governments with and without a majority of its own as it has done in many other States. One hopes that for democracy to survive in India the Supreme Court would intervene and set right what has been done unjustifiably and illegally done over night.

J. Eden Alexander,

Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu

What must concern us is that we have been confronting such situations rather too frequently for comfort, especially when we have a written Constitution. The conduct of our legislative and constitutional affairs must yet be wrung through the racks of compulsive evolution, hopefully progressive, on the strength of an exemplary judiciary. That said, the BJP has increasingly been demonstrating that its skill in managing politics far outweighs that of mastering its economics. The gall, chutzpah and sharp tools its party employs to sustain its political clout tends to invite a hubris of absolutism and hence little need for accountability. Slogans and spin cannot dress up for long, social fissures nor the economy rendered hollow with time.

R. Narayanan,

Navi Mumbai


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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 11:47:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/twists-and-turns/article30079492.ece

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