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The Governor and the Constitution

M V Pylee A few months ago it was Rajasthan, Now it is Madhya Pradesh. The actions of the Governors in both States have become the subject of controversy. Unfortunately, in both cases the Governors concerned happened to be ex-Congressmen and the Chief Ministers Congressmen. Not surprisingly, therefore, allegations of partisanship have been made against the Governor by every opposition party.

The Dangerous Decade

UNTIL 1967 India's federal system of government, established under the Constitution, was never put to real test. Much of the discussion on the subject, therefore, was of a speculative type not based on experience of the working of the system. Since the Constitution provided for a relatively strong Centre, which was in conformity with the modern tendency in all federal governments, many critics for whom the original provisions of the American Constitution alone are the ideal form of a federal system, denounced the Indian model as no federal system at all. In fact, some of them went to the extent of describing the position of the States under our Constitution as worse than that of even the municipalities in the coun, try. Others, more charitable, characterised the Indian system as quasi-federal One of the latter group, K C Wheare of Oxford, has said that the Constitution of India establishes a unitary state with subsidiary federal features rather than a federal system with subsidiary unitary features. Everyone of these critics depended more on the written provisions of the Constitution than on their working In arriving at such conclusions. And that is the weakness of their approach to the problem. Amal Ray's book is different in that it is not a speculative work based only on the written provisions of the Constitution. He has made a close study of the working of the federal system during the first fifteen years since the inauguration of the Constitution. And hence his conclusions are more dependable and more valuable for a better understanding of India's federal system.

The Congress Debacle in Kerala

the political scene of Kerala will be surprised at the decisive defeat of the Congress party in the elections. But even those who have been keen students of the State's politics are bound to be amazed at the fantastic margin with which the United Front of seven parties has scored its stunning victory. Even in the wildest of their dreams, the leaders of the United Front could not have dreamt of such a triumph. Every functionary of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee including its President, three Secretaries and the Treasurer, has been defeated. The only significant survivor in this landslide is P Govinda Men on, Central Minister for Pood, who has just managed to scrape through to become the sole representative of the Con- gress from Kerala in the Lok Sabha. Out of a total of 133 seats in the State Assembly, the United Front has captured 117! The Congress could secure only nine, just one-fourth of what they won in the mid-term elections of 1965. What has made this possible? It is a difficult, complex question to answer.
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