The Bihar Post

Nitish at Inter-State Council meet: Post of Governor should be done away with

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PATNA: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar today pitched for abolishing the post of Governors at a meeting of the 11th Inter-State Council held in Delhi today.

The observation assumes significance in the backdrop of severe reprimanding of Arunachal Pradesh governor by the Supreme Court over dismissal of the Congress government in the state.

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“The State Government is of the opinion that existing federal democratic structure of the country does not warrant continuance of the gubernatorial post. However, if it is not possible to do away with it, then our opinion is that provisions relating to the appointment of Governor must be clearly defined and made transparent,” Kumar said addressing the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He said the Chief Minister of State should also be consulted and the criteria laid down by Sarkaria Commission should be followed in matter of Governor’s appointment.

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“The appointment of Governor is made by the honourable President but Chief Minister of the State must be formally consulted before removal of incumbent Governor, and if required, Article 155 of the Constitution may be amended to provide for such consultation,” he observed.

He further demanded that Article 163 (2) of the Constitution mentioning the discretionary powers of Governor be made clearer.

“His discretionary power should be limited to sending report to the Centre under Article 356. For all other matters, the Governor must function on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers as provided for in Articles 200 and 201 of the Constitution. We are in full agreement with the criteria suggested by the Commission and the procedure proposed for appointment of Chief Minister by the Governor.

“The Commission has also recommended that for removal of 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. We hope that the Central Government will respect the federal structure as enshrined in the Constitution and also believe that the guidelines expounded in S.R. Bommai case by the Hon’ble Supreme Court would be kept in view as guiding principles,” he said.

He said he Central Government has to function under the ambit of Constitution. “However, if it is established that a State government is not performing its ‘Raj Dharma’, then in the rarest of rare circumstances, the Central Government may intervene under the existing provisions of the Constitution,” he opined.

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