ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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The Real Culprits

EVEN in these times of much lowered expectations from the holders of high public office, there are some who are immediately identifiable as unworthy of the positions they happen to occupy. The present governor of the state of Uttar Pradesh is one such. He has shown this to be the case on more than one occasion in the past. He did so once again last week when, in a cloak-and-dagger operation on the eve of the second round of voting in the Lok Sabha elections in the state, he dismissed the BJP led coalition government of Kalyan Singh and installed a government headed by a leader of the Loktantrik Congress Party, with, even according to the most friendly estimate, 22 MLAs in a house of 424 members. Unfortunately for the governor and the intended beneficiaries of the operation, the Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh Yadav principally, the Allahabad High Court intervened to stay the dismissal of the Kalyan Singh government and this week the Supreme Court made absolute' the high court's order after Kalyan Singh proved his majority in the assembly in a 'composite floor test' as directed by the court. So transparently motivated were the governor's actions and so violative of the by now well established principle that majority support for a government or the lack of it has to be established on the floor of the house that the president of the country has been compelled, in a rare step, to address a communication to the prime minister drawing attention to the governor's conduct and seeking the central government's guidance on the desirability of his continuance in office. It has also come to light now that the president had addressed an earlier communication as well advising against the dismissal of the Kalyan Singh government, which advice the UP governor chose deliberately to ignore. With a lame-duck prime minister in his last month in office and with some of the leading lights of his own United Front having been the instigators of the dark manoeuvres conducted from Lucknow's Raj Bhavan, the presidential intervention is unlikely to yield any concrete results. All the same, the one heartening aspect of the developments in UP has been the evidence of the effectiveness, may be sporadic, of the checks on extreme abuse of power provided by the judiciary and the rest of the country's constitutional scheme of things.

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