Let the House decide on next CM, not Raj Bhavan

When there is a fractured mandate and no party has the simple majority to form the government, the institution of Governor should play a key role, not by selecting the leader of his choice, like in the case of Karnataka now, but allowing the MLAs and the Assembly to select. When post-poll and pre-poll alliances are order of the day, the Raj Bhavans should realise that the post-poll alliances too are acceptable, but should be tested on the floor of the House. All that the Raj Bhavan should have done is to appoint a pro-tem speaker and give direction to him to ask the floor test for the leaders claiming majority. The leaders will make their MLAs vote for them in the House and the pro-tem speaker can identify and count the members and decide on the Leader of the House to be sworn-in as the Chief Minister. This practice would keep respect for democracy and people would have faith in the institutions of democracy.

Unfortunately this is not happening. It is all for power in politics and those aspiring to be in power are going to any extent in violation of the constitution and defeat of the peoples’ verdict. This was what had happened in Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya in the recent past where the BJP had formed the government without having even simple majority. In Goa, the BJP had formed the government with just 13 MLAs while the Congress had 17 MLAs. In Manipur too, the BJP with 21 MLAs had formed the government denying the right to the Congress which had 28 MLAs. The pity is that in Meghalaya, the BJP with just 2 MLAs had formed the government keeping the Congress out of power though it had 21 MLAs. If this is how the BJP wants to rule this country, it cannot go further and will have to taste the peoples’ anger in the next election.

Indira Gandhi had used the institutions of Governor for her political interests and had made the Raj Bhavan’s the centers of her politics. Narendra Modi is doing the same now, which is not good for the country and its democracy. The mandate for the BJP in Karnataka is clear that it is falling short of the simple majority. With 104 MLAs, the BJP would require 8 MLAs and the party leader B S Yeddyurappa cannot fill this gap unless the party indulges in some horse trading. Purchase of MLAs or elected members is not new to the country and giving the BJP 15 days to prove majority is in a way giving the party an opportunity to buy the MLAs, which is not a healthy practice for Indian democracy.

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