Constitutional crisis of work-less VP resolved
Bengaluru/New Delhi: On a day of dramatic political developments, the Central government today imposed Vice-President rule in Karnataka.
The strategic move follows another recommendation from Karnataka Governor H R Baradwaj, whose earlier plea for imposing President’s rule in the State did not evoke a positive response from the Union government as the entire thinktank, which means to say Sonia Gandhi, was reportedly busy involved in resolving the Indo-Pak dispute on the hockey field at the Commonwealth Games.
Sources privy to the behind the scenes activity at the Centre said that the government was reluctant to impose President’s rule due to various political and Constitutional complications, chief of which may have been in explaining what the Constitution is to the present President. ‘We may also have had to point out where Karnataka is to her,’ said a source.
Further, these days invoking the Article 356 to dismiss a State government has become very difficult, as it seems to have been worn out due to repeated usage in the 80s and the 90s. ‘Article 356 was a plaything for the Central government in those days. But then Bommai stood up and did not allow himself to be reduced to being a kid’s toy,’ said the source not realising that he was making a bilingual pun on Bommai. The Bommai case, as it is now known as, has ensured that the government is very cautious in its usage of any Article, including that of ‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘the’ in its communiqués.
After the Bommai episode, the situation has moved to the other extreme, with the Centre not slapping President’s rule, even in cases where it is indeed needed.
Goa, for instance.
As far as that can be gathered, technically there seems to be no government in place there. ‘But the Centre seems to be following a wait and watch policy there. With beautiful beaches and plenty of bikini-clad women, if they are watching and waiting, you can’t blame them. Can you?’ the source wondered.
And then there is Jharkhand.
The Congress and the BJP follow a similar strategy there: Be at the mercy of the Jharkhand Mukthi Morcha. The continuance of any incumbent government there is decided by the important political development of which side of the bed Shibu Soren gets up in the morning.
The situation here is even President’s rule may end in disaster as the legislators here can trigger defections even in Rashtrapathi Bhavan.
In general, the tower of Constitution does not seem to get full signal here, probably because Jharkhand is primarily a hilly and tribal terrain.
Amidst this background, the developments in Karnataka were a major challenge to the Union government.
After Chief Minister Yeddyurappa was asked to prove his majority on the floor of the House, the Speaker followed the Constitutionally laid down rule of disqualifying all those who were planning to vote against the Chief Minister.
The confidence vote was also conducted with utter dignity by having all those who were in support of Yeddyurappa to shout at the top of their voice. ‘If this is not sound democracy, what is,’ sources close to the Speaker later claimed.
On the other hand, Baradwaj, as befitting the high office of Governor, naturally followed the equally enshrined Constitutional principles of not accepting the validity of the trust vote as because the result did not match with the one that he had in mind.
The Governor naturally has called for another trust vote. He will keep ordering the Chief Minister to prove his majority till the CM fails to, said a source in the Raj Bhavan.
Amidst all this, the Union Cabinet met this morning and discussed in depth all the happenings in Bengaluru. ‘The situation was in balance, both the sides have a chance,’ said one of the Ministers. And it turned out that he was describing the other bigger development in Bengaluru —- the Test match at the Chinnasamy stadium.
Later in the day, after the Test match was over, the Union Cabinet, faced with the dilemma of either allowing the farcical Yeddyurappa government to continue or impose President’s rule which will be even more farcical, decided to take the middle path: Impose Vice-President’s rule.
This brilliant move has caught the BJP napping, as it was so far opposed only to the imposition of the President’s rule. ‘We will come up with a suitable response once we figure out who the Vice-President is,’ said a BJP functionary.
Meanwhile, all the legal experts were unanimous in welcoming the latest development. ‘The imposition of Vice-President’s rule, whether it solves the logjam in Karnataka or not, it sure ends the bigger Constitutional crisis of finding some morsel of work for the Vice-President,’ said Soli Sorabjee, the go-to man whenever the word Constitution crops up in any discussion.
With some work provided for the Vice-President, the country will shortly know the identity of the person who had so far been operating as the Vice-President, Sorabjee added.
(Disclaimer: Extreme spoof. So take it easy)