RS MP Vivek Tankha calls for President’s rule in Madhya Pradesh for ‘poorly-conceived one man show’
Vivek Tankha has written to the President of India that in the absence of a Cabinet, ‘the bureaucratic/ police response of the state to the COVID-19 pandemic is pathetic’
Congress Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh, Vivek Tankha has penned a letter to the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind raising grievance that without a Health Minister or a Cabinet in place, the COVID-19 situation is spiralling out of control in the state, legal news website BarandBench.com has reported.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had assumed the helm of Madhya Pradesh in March 23 this year, following the collapse of the Congress government led by Kamal Nath. However, as on date the State does not have a Cabinet or a Health Minister to aid the Chief Minister in governance.
In his letter, Tankha has asserted that this "government of a sole CM i.e one-man government without a Cabinet is an unthinkable Constitutional anathema."
"With utmost regret whilst India and the world is battling COVID-19 I feel compelled to write against the illegally designed & poorly conceived one-man show unconstitutionally thrust upon 7.5 crore people of Madhya Pradesh. This shenanigan gravely impacts and imperils the war against coronavirus," Vivek Tankha wrote, as per the report carried by BarandBench.com.
The letter goes on to point out that the situation in the Corona hotspot of Indore, Madhya Pradesh is grave with the highest percentage of recorded deaths. Further, it is added that Bhopal suffers from an administrative collapse of the Health department, "with 45 plus IAS & other officials posted in the secretariat/offices having tested positive (for COVID-19)."
Other towns appear to be safe, but with negligible testing to boast, the letter states. In this backdrop, Tankha highlights that "The bureaucratic / police response of the state to the pandemic is pathetic."
The letter further states, "The patience of 7.5 crore people is wearing thin. In today’s situation Madhya Pradesh doesn’t have the benefit of an accountable Cabinet much less a Health Minister. Constitutional/cabinet accountability is a matter of faith and public trust. CM's bravado is understandable but not in the public interest - just as the Principal Secretary Health’s insistence to continue working and issue health bulletins after being detected as corona positive."
It may be noted that the Principal Health Secretary of Madhya Pradesh also recently tested positive for the Coronavirus.
Tankha goes on to question the State Assembly Speaker's “enigmatic silence” on the issue "despite this constitutional outrage." Tankha adds, "Madhya Pradesh deserves to be governed by a cabinet. This is what the Constitution mandates. Madhya Pradesh cannot be deprived of this constitutional privilege and specially so in this extreme crisis situation."
In view of these concerns, Tankha has urged that the imposition of President's Rule be considered for the State of Madhya Pradesh, if the Chief Minister does not form a cabinet to address the crisis soon.
The letter states, "... if the Chief Minister is unable to form his Cabinet because of issues beyond his control, then a case of breakdown of constitutional machinery will be self-evident in the state of Madhya Pradesh, warranting the Union to consider the imposition of President's Rule in the state."