Maha episode again turns spotlight on Guv’s role

Representative image.

Maharashtra Governor B S Koshiyari’s recommendation to impose President’s rule in Maharashtra has once brought the role of Raj Bhavan during government formation and associated political impasse into the limelight.

Koshiyari’s recommendation to the Centre came after parties failed to form a government in the state, after Assembly election results were declared 19 days ago. The Opposition is up in arms against his decision alleging that he is favouring the BJP.

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Questions have been raised, including from the Opposition, about Koshiyari not acting fast enough and waiting for almost 15 days to first send a communication to the BJP, seeking their response on government formation. Amid the tussle, none of the parties staked a claim but the question about why the Governor was not pro-active in the initial days remains.

These and other issues, including the perceived violation of Supreme Court judgement in S R Bommai case and Sarkaria Commission recommendations, are likely to reverberate in Parliament when the government's resolution seeking approval for President’s rule comes.

Partisan approach

Opposition sources accused Koshiyari of acting like a BJP leader, giving the party two weeks to arrange the numbers, after the Shiv Sena played hardball. They drew parallels with Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala’s decision to grant B S Yediyurappa 15 days in July to prove a majority after JD(S)-Congress government collapsed. Vala’s action had then attracted the wrath of the Supreme Court.

Also read — Prez Rule in Maha, Assembly in suspended animation

Though Koshiyari, a former BJP chief minister of Uttarakhand, was said to be consulting legal experts after the results were declared, he did not make a move to invite or assess from the alliance leader BJP till November 9 about the possibilities of government formation.

He gave the BJP two days but the party informed him on Sunday itself, that it was not in a position to form the government, following which the Shiv Sena was invited, giving it a day’s time. However, when Sena asked for two more days and NCP for three days, Koshiyari said he could not accede to their demands for further time.

Opposition leaders point out that Governor’s first approach to a party came 15 days after the results were declared but rushed to recommend imposition of President’s rule.

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