Nitish for abolition of governor's post

Nitish for abolition of governor's post

Says govt has to respect federal structure as enshrined in Constitution

Nitish for abolition of governor's post
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday made a pitch for abolishing the governor’s post. If it is not possible, Kumar demanded, the chief minister should be consulted while appointing or removing the governor.

Speaking at the 11th meeting of the Inter-State Council on Centre-state relations, he said the government has to respect the federal structure as enshrined in the Constitution and guidelines expounded by the Supreme Court in the S R Bommai case.

Kumar, also JD(U) president, voiced support for the recommendations of the Punchhi Commission on Centre-state relations. “On the appointment and removal of the governor, the state government is of the opinion that firstly, the existing federal democratic structure of the country does not warrant continuance of the gubernatorial post. If it is not possible, provisions relating to the appointment of the governor must be clearly defined,” he suggested. 

“Besides, the chief minister must be consulted, and the criteria laid down by the Sarkaria Commission should be followed while appointing the governor,” he said. “If required, Article 155 of the Constitution may be amended to provide for such consultation,” he added.

“For the removal of a chief minister, the governor must give the Leader of the House an opportunity to prove majority on the floor of the House. This must be followed in letter and spirit,” the Bihar chief minister said. Kumar urged that the governor’s power should be limited to sending reports to the Centre. He also wanted that President’s Rule should be imposed only in the rarest of rare circumstances. Kumar said the Centre may intervene “if it is established that a state government is not performing its raj dharma”.

The chief minister also opposed the Constitution of the Indian Education Service and Common National Curriculum on the ground that it would be contrary to the federal structure of the country. He also said institutions like the National Counter-Terrorism Centre and Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2005, might “hinder” Centre-state relations.