ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Elections-Time for Cleansing

Elections-Time for Cleansing

A Correspondent writes: MORARJI DESAI's reported decision to redefine the functions of the prime minister's secretariat and to restore it to its pre-1964 position would, if implemented, mean the end of the dreaded super-cabinet which in effect has been acting as an extra-constitutional power centre. The prime minister's secretariat emerged as the rival focus to the cabinet secretariat in the days of the late Lal Bahadur Shastri with L K Jha as his principal secretary. In the first year or two of Indira Gandhi there was no qualitative change in the functioning of the prime minister's secretariat but it was to acquire a vicious role gradually. The cabinet and even its senior members were losing importance and a small coterie advising the prime minister was becoming an all-powerful instrument of executive authority and extending its control to the proliferating investigating and enforcement agencies, It even began managing Congress party affairs with a view to strengthening the prime minister's factional position and played its own role in the 1989" Congress split. Its operational role extended to toppling Congress ministries disliked by the prime minister and subverting ministries run by other parties.

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