Maharashtra President’s rule: Governor draws flak from experts, political leaders

Manoj Dattatrye More
While experts said the move was unconstitutional, political leaders said Koshyari was dancing to the tunes of the central government.

THE decision of Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to recommend President’s rule has drawn fire from Constitutional experts and political leaders. While experts said the move was unconstitutional, political leaders said Koshyari was dancing to the tunes of the central government.

“After the Governor had given 48 hours to the BJP, he should have also given 48 hours to the Shiv Sena. Instead, he gave only 24 hours to the Sena, which was improper,” said Constitutional expert Ulhas Bapat.

Similarly, Bapat said the NCP was also given 24 hours. “But even before the NCP could stake claim, the Governor recommended President’s rule. This was again violation of Constitutional norms,” he said. Also, if the NCP had said no, Bapat said the Governor should have called the Congress. “That possibility did not emerge as Koshyari decided to recommend President’s rule,” he said.

Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said, “In S R Bommai vs Union of India, the Governor had laid down guidelines for imposition of President’s rule to curb the blatant misuse of Article 356. If the NCP had not staked claim, the Congress should have been invited. But even before the NCP could stake claim, the Governor recommended President’s rule, which was highly objectionable.”

Congress leader Manikarrao Thakare, however, said, “President’s rule will not make any difference. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has said now we have got more time to discuss and come to an agreement.” Thakare said in a few days, the Congress, NCP and Sena will discuss the modalities of forming the government. “We are positive about forming the government,” he said.

Sena MP Shrirang Barne said, “Like the BJP which was given 48 hours, the Sena too should have got 48 hours. By imposing President’s rule, the central government has now ensured horse-trading takes places.”

NCP MP Vandana Chavan said the Governor should have given time to the NCP. “At the current juncture, Maharashtra needs a government. Farmers have been hit. The Governor did not bother about this. It is obvious he was dancing to the tunes of the central government. It is highly unfortunate the Governor did not uphold the sanctity of the Constitution...,” he said.

Pune BJP MP Girish Bapat said the imposition of President’s rule was the appropriate step. “The Governor was not left with any option,” he said.

AAP leader Mukund Kirdat said, “The imposition of President’s rule was the fallout of unethical and self-centred politics practised by some political parties. All the four — BJP, Sena, Congress and NCP — have taken the voters for a ride.”

Advocate Sushil Mancharkar said the Supreme Court should take suo motu action against the Governor. “This is because it was the Supreme Court which had laid the norms in the Bommai case for stopping the misuse of Article 356 for imposing the President’s rule,” he said.