Sacking illegal

Sacking illegal

The Modi government’s move to force the governors appointed by the previous government to resign is illegal, unethical and bad politics.

Governors hold constitutional offices which should not be subjected to the changing whims and narrow needs of political parties in power at the Centre.

That amounts to politicising the high office. The Modi government had promised, when it assumed office, that its decisions would be fair and that it would take the opposition along in its decisions.

But after two weeks in power, it has shown that it is no different from the Congress government. Parties in power at the Centre have considered Raj Bhavans as parking lots of retired politicians or those who need to be appeased or rewarded.

The UPA did that, and the NDA government’s move is also prompted by the same policy and attitude.

The UPA government, when it came to power in 2004, had dismissed the governors appointed by the previous government.

That was wrong and the BJP is repeating the same wrong now. It had criticised the Congress for it, but is now opportunistically trying to defend and justify the wrong move.

Party leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy says political propriety demanded that the governors resign. He is arguing against himself and the party’s position a decade ago.

Constitutional and political propriety actually demand that the government leaves the governors in their offices. The sense of propriety should not come with an expiry date.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh says he would have quit long ago if he were in the governors’ position.

He is being disingenuous, because the BJP had supported a petition which challenged the government’s decision in the Supreme Court and felt vindicated when the court disapproved the government action.

The government should have followed the court’s view that a change in government at the Centre is no ground for removal of governors and there should not be wholesale and unreasonable dismissals, without specific reasons in individual cases.

The government’s move goes against the letter and spirit of all the observations made by the court in the case.

It has lowered the status of a high office and has compounded the insult to the office by conveying its decision orally through the home secretary to the governors.

A governor is not a minister to be sacked on telephone, that too by an official.

The government should drop the wrong and unwise move, which is certain to taint its image.