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Here's a timeline of controversial decisions by 'Honourable Governors'

While Vajubhai Vala earned flak for his partisan role, he isn't the first to stir up a row; Here is a list of questionable acts by state governors in the past

Mansi Jaiswal  |  New Delhi 

B S Yeddyurappa, Vajubhai Vala
File photo of former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa submitting his resignation to Governor Vajubhai Vala after announcing it before the floor test at Vidhana Soudha, in Bengaluru

The drama surrounding the swearing-in and eventual resignation of BJP’s in may have been an embarrassment for the BJP, but it was probably a bigger loss of face for the position of the Governor of the state, The opposition parties sought the intervention of the in the matter, which led to a sharp reduction in the number of days provided to Yeddyurappa and to prove their majority in the house.

The Governor came in for strong criticism from both political parties and political commentators for his partisan role. He was accused of ignoring the fact that the Congress-post-poll alliance had the requisite numbers while the was short. The appointment of the pro-tem speaker by the former finance minister of Gujarat, Vala also came in for censure. The asked the letter handed over by Yeddyurappa to the Governor to be produced before it in order to ascertain whether he had the requisite numbers or not. The letter was eventually found to be vaguely worded without any mention of the numbers in support of the

However, this was not the first time that the Governor’s office faced such criticism for its actions. appointed by the Union government have had a history of courting controversies especially when it comes to government formation in a hung house.

Here is a list of occasions when the role of the Governor faced criticism:

1952 (Madras): It was the first time when the governor office was accused of acting inappropriately after independence. Governor invited to form the government in Madras, despite the fact that Gopalachari was not an elected member of the assembly and had not participated in the then elections.

1959 (Kerala): First democratically elected left government of was dismissed by Governor Burgula Ramakrishna Rao, after the two bills, one on cap on landownership, and the other on education, proposed by CPI government led to massive agitation in the state. The Union government led by PM decided to dismiss the left government in the state.

1967 (West Bengal): Governor dismissed the government of headed by and appointed as the new CM in a supported government.

1970 (West Bengal): Three years later, the discretionary power of the Governor was misused again in West Bengal. In March 1970, of the government resigned as CM, thereafter, CPM leader staked claim, assuring he would prove majority, but the then governor Shanti Swaroop Dhawan ignored the demand, and imposed President’s rule in the state.

1982 (Haryana): Haryana Governor, dismissed and BJP coalition and overlooked the CM candidate He invited Congress’ Bhajan Lal to form the government earning the ire of and criticism from political commentators.

1984 (Andhra Pradesh): In the year 1983, under N T Rama Rao, Andhra Pradesh got the first non-government, but an year later, when NTR went to the US for heart surgery, his finance minister Nadendla Bhaskara Rao, a former Congressman broke the party and staked claim as CM. He was supported by Governor and was made the Chief Minister.

1988 (Karnataka): Governor did not give opportunity to Chief Minister to prove his majority in the assembly, despite, Bommai presenting him the copy of resolution signed by the legislature party.

1994 (Goa): Governor dismissed the government of Wilfred D’Souza, after five ministers from his cabinet resigned. Singh installed Ravi Naik without consulting the centre.

1996 (Gujarat): CM of the BJP faced rebellion from and 40 other MLAs. Post-defection, Governor ordered Mehta to prove his majority in the Vidhan Sabha. The government succeeded in proving its majority, but Pal sent the report to the then PM H D Deve Gowda, recommending President's Rule in the state.

1997 (Uttar Pradesh): In Feb 1998, led BJP govt in UP fell short of majority after and MLAs withdrew support from the party. Governor immediately dismissed the government and installed Loktantrik Congress’ as the new CM of the state. had to resign three days later after court restored as CM.

2005 (Bihar): Governor Buta Singh recommended dissolution of Bihar assembly in 2005, despite the and the BJP claiming that they fulfilled the requirements of forming the government with the support of 115 MLAs in the 243 member house, but Singh tried his best to not allow the to form the government.

2005 (Jharkhand): Governor installed Jharkhand Mukti Morcha’s as the new CM, despite the claiming the support of 41 MLAs in the 80 member assembly. The matter reached which ordered a floor test. Soren failed to prove his majority in the house and BJPs was sworn in as the CM of the state.

2010 (Karnataka) In September that year, the B S Yeddyruppa government faced rebellion from 16 MLAs. Speaker called for the floor test and disqualified the rebel MLAs from the Assembly. Consequently, Yeddyurappa proved his majority through a voice vote. The Supreme Court later came down heavily on the Speaker’s actions. The Governor questioned the manner in which the majority was proved and sent a letter to the President recommending President's rule. The Union government rejected his suggestion.

2016 (Uttarakhand): In March 2016, 9 Congress MLAs including 26 BJP MLAs rebelled against Harish Rawat-led Congess government in Uttarakhand against the finance bill. The rebel MLAs were later disqualified. Governor asked the Modi government to impose President’s Rule in the state, but Uttarakhand high Court judge quashed President’s rule and Rawat proved his majority.

2016 (Arunachal Pradesh): On December 9, a group of rebel Congress MLAs approached Governor to impeach the speaker, of Arunachal state assembly . Congress protested, but the Modi government imposed President’s Rule in the state. Later, with Supreme Court’s intervention, President’s Rule was lifted and court rejected the pleas of rebel congress MLAs.

2017 (Goa): In the year 2017, no party won a clear majority in the Goa state assembly elections. Congress emerged as the single largest party winning 17 seats in the 40 seat assembly. However, Governor Mridula Sinha, invited the BJP to form the government.

2017 (Manipur): Here again, in the 60 member assembly, Congress emerged as the single largest party winning 28 seats, however governor invited BJP first to prove majority and later BJP cobbled together 4 MLAs from Peoples Party, 4 from Naga Peoples Front and one from to form the government with BJP’s was sworn in as Chief minister of the state.

2017 (Bihar): Nitish Kumar-led broke the grand alliance with Congress and in Bihar, and later formed alliance with former foe-BJP and staked claim to form the government. BJP appointed Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi ignored single largest party RJD’s claim and made the Chief Minister.

2018 (Meghalaya): Here too the Congress lost another state despite winning more seats than any other party in the elections. In the 50 seat assembly, the Congress won 21 seats, followed by NPP 19, and BJP and UDP, two and six, respectively. However, governor Ganga Prasad invited Conrad Sangma of the NPP to prove his majority. Sangma’s NPP formed the alliance with UDP, PDF, HSPDP, and the BJP to form the government in the state.

First Published: Mon, May 21 2018. 16:41 IST
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