Senior Congress leader and former Union Home and Finance Minister P Chidambaram trained his gun on Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra and the Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre, saying the Governor has no choice but has to listen to the advice of the Council of Ministers and allow the Legislative Assembly to convene. He said, “The fundamental basis of a parliamentary democracy is a functioning legislature. If the executive government wants the legislature to meet, it has the absolute right and authority to call a session. The Governor is only a formal instrument to sign and issue the summons to the MLAs. If a Chief Minister who is accused of not enjoying a majority wants to prove his majority, he is entitled to call a session at the earliest to prove his majority. No one can stand in his way. Placing any obstacle to calling the session would undermine the fundamental basis of a parliamentary democracy.”
The seasoned politician also pointed out repeated violations of the letter and spirit of the Indian Constitution by governors appointed by the current government and the judicial interventions in three cases. He said, “Governors appointed by the BJP since 2014 have repeatedly violated the letter and spirit of the Constitution of India. In the process, they have gravely impaired parliamentary democracy, its conventions and traditions. I may remind that there are at least three landmark judgments of the Courts when the Governors concerned acted in gross violation of the Constitution in Arunachal Pradesh (2016), Uttarakhand (2016) and Karnataka (2019).”
Chidambaram expressed anguish that “Despite these judgments and the statements of law, the Governor of Rajasthan has stalled — and continues to stall — a perfectly valid request of the Council of Ministers of Rajasthan to convene a session of the Legislative Assembly. It is settled law that the Governor shall act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers. The Governor has no discretion — let me repeat, no discretion at all — in the matter. The questions that the Governor had raised to stall the request were irrelevant and beyond his authority. His current stand that the law gives him a ‘discretion’ to summon the Assembly or not is a complete distortion of the law declared by the Courts.”
On July 27, Indian National Congress leaders and workers are protesting before all Raj Bhavans in the country to highlight the gravity of the issue and draw people’s attention to the violations of the Constitution.