The Article ‘Power of Governor- Tussle between Governor and CM’ is an extensive analysis of the relationship of the Governor with several states. The Author has explained the constitutional provisions pertaining to the office of the Governor. The present source of the conflict between the Governor and the State has also been discussed.  Various steps which were taken… Read More »

The Article ‘Power of Governor- Tussle between Governor and CM’ is an extensive analysis of the relationship of the Governor with several states. The Author has explained the constitutional provisions pertaining to the office of the Governor. The present source of the conflict between the Governor and the State has also been discussed. Various steps which were taken to stop the conflict are also available in this article.

The intent is to make the readers understand the crucial role played by the Governor in various issues and also the role of the Chief Minister in any state. Even the judgment of the Supreme Court has also been explained in order to make this conceptual issue lucid.

Power of Governor-Tussle between Governor and CM: A Brief Introduction

In recent years, there have been numerous confrontations between states and governors over a number of issues, such as which party will be in command and the timeframe for showing a majority. The Chief Minister is the link between the Cabinet and the Governor. It is he who communicates to the Governor all decisions of the Council of Ministers. He has to furnish such information relating to the administration of the State as the Governor may call for. Chief Minister is the de facto executive while the governor is the de jure executive of the states.

Issue

Since last week, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has been blocked on Twitter by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. She felt “compelled” to leave due to his “unethical and unconstitutional” remarks regarding his alleged treatment of government employees as “servants.” When Dhankhar tweeted on the “heart and purpose” of democracy, he added that the CM’s action “violated constitutional norms once again.”

Mamata Banerjee’s rant against West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has refocused attention on the governor’s duty in relation to the elected government and legislature.

What is the Governor’s Relationship with the Several States?

  • The Governor acts as the nominal head whereas the real power lies with the Chief Minister of the state.
  • While the President of India is “elected,” the governor is “chosen” by the current federal government.
  • The governor is regarded as the constitutional head of the state and plays a very effective role in the creation of a link between the state and central government.

Decision-Making Authority in the hands of the Governor

  • The Governor shall be helped and advised in the discharge of his duties by the Council of Ministers presided over by the Chief Minister unless the Constitution expressly provides otherwise.
  • If there is any uncertainty regarding the Governor’s authority to act, the Governor’s decision will be final and binding.
  • Due to his constitutional and situational authority, the Governor has a wider policymaking ambit than the President. However, the President has little discretionary authority.

Constitution-Guaranteed Selection Liberties

  • Article 167 permits the Governor to request information from the Chief Minister regarding the administration of the state and the applicable laws.
  • Article 200 grants the Governor the authority to present legislation for the President’s consideration.
  • If a system is not functioning as intended, a Governor may request the President that the President’s rule be implemented pursuant to Article 356.
  • The Governor of a neighbouring union territory is not required to accept the advice and recommendations of the Chief Minister and Council while serving as Governor of a neighbouring union territory (in case of an additional charge).
  • Regarding mineral exploration licenses, the Governor has the authority to determine the number of royalties owed by the governments of the Sixth Schedule territory to an autonomous Tribal District Council (Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram)

Decision-Making Skill Based on the Conditions.

  1. When there is no clear majority in the legislature, the Governor may choose the Chief Minister.
  2. If the state legislature lacks faith in the Council of Ministers, it could be eliminated.
  3. The Governor has the ability to dissolve the state legislature if the council of ministers fails to obtain a majority vote.
  4. Caretaker Government: The Governor has the authority to appoint a caretaker administration until an elected or constituted regular government is established.
  5. Article 371 stipulates that Vidarbha, Marathwada, Saurashtra, and Kutch each have their own development board. The President may delegate particular responsibility for the formation of these development bodies to the Governor.

The Present Source of Conflict Between The Governor And The Chief Minister

According to sources, Governor Dhankhar often summons the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police of West Bengal. He routinely tweets about the topic and includes the CEO in the conversation when the CEO is absent.

Recently, Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee and Dhankhar had an incident on the grounds of the State Assembly. Due to the suspension of the Howrah Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill 2021, he was able to postpone the municipal election date in Howrah.

Among other things, he charged that the government was dishonest about its social programs and questioned its assertions regarding public investment.

Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari of Maharashtra has suspended the election of the state’s next speaker since February 2021.

The ruling coalition disagrees with the Governor’s argument that the State Assembly cannot create its own rules. Not until the High Court intervened did he seek the advice of the Council of Ministers over the appointment of 12 individuals to the Legislative Council.

The T.N. Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill has been dormant since it was passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly in September 2021.

However, the lack of a resolution is weakening the legislative branch, and either the President of India or the Governor must settle the impasse.

Efforts attempted to stop the conflict

Commission for Administrative Restructuring (1968)

The government report on the presidency: The governor should apply his or her own discretion, and the report should be objective.

A Report from the Rajamannar Committee (1971)

According to the Rajamannar Committee, state governors should not view themselves as federal employees, but as the constitutional leaders of their respective states.

1983’s Sarkaria Commission recommendations

It described how the Governor would choose a Chief Minister in the case of a vote tie.

  1. Before the elections, political parties established an alliance.
  2. The single largest party asserts that it has the right to form the government with the support of smaller parties and independents.
  3. Multiple parties established an electoral coalition, and coalition members collaborated to form a government.
  4. After an election, many parties formed a coalition government, with some parties forming the government and others, such as independents, providing support from the outside.

Appointment of Governor

The Chief Minister should be asked to appoint the Governor.

Dismissal of Council of Ministers

Resignation from the Council of Ministers: The Governor cannot resign from the Council of Ministers when it has a majority.

S.R. Bommai Judgement (1994)

The Supreme Court classified constitutional machinery breakdown into one of four categories:

  • political crisis,
  • internal subversion,
  • physical breakdown, and
  • unwillingness to comply with Union Executive directives.

The Supreme Court now has the ability to investigate the claims of wrongdoing contained in the Governor’s report.

Recommendations Made by the Punchhi Commission (2007)

The Punchhi Commission on Centre-State Relations advised that the Governor should invite the leader of “a pre-election alliance commanding the largest number” or the “largest single party” to form the government if no pre-election coalition or party had a clear majority.

Constitutional Provisions Pertaining To The Office Of Governor

  • Presence of Governor (Article 153): This stipulates that each state must have at least one governor in place.

  • Executive Power (Article 154): The Governor controls the activities of the state. Insofar as he complies with the standards outlined in this article, he may do so either directly or through officers under his direction.
  • Appointment of Governor (Article 155): When the President signs and affixes a seal by the warrant, he or she has appointed a state’s governor.

  • Term of Office of Governor (Article 156): This Article stipulates that the Governor is only needed to work for as long as the President directs. Five-year mandates commence upon the Governor’s inauguration and run simultaneously.

  • Qualifications of Governor (Article 157): The 157th entry in this series says that the candidate must be a citizen of India and at least 35 years old.

  • Conditions of Governor Office (Article 158): This Article prohibits governors from working or holding elected offices at the federal, state, or local levels.

  • Oath (Article 159): This article stipulates that the Governor and anyone serving in his or her place must appear before the Chief Justice of the High Court or the court’s most senior judge prior to assuming office.
  • Under Article 161, the governor has the authority to grant amnesty, remissions, and sentence reductions.

Conclusion

The Governor and Chief Minister have been in conflict. There have been numerous arguments between the two regarding the utility of their respective powers. When the federal and state governments are governed by the same party, it is less probable that difficulties will arise. When the two parties dispute, it is typical for the governor, as the legal head of state government, to act as though his duty is to place as many obstacles as possible in their path. In the past, Governors who also served as chancellors of state institutions punished the state with their authority.

Democracy necessitates that the Government acts in line with the wishes of its citizens, as expressed by voting. In a democracy, the elected government lacks absolute authority. It seeks law and order. This mechanism shouldn’t be affected by the user’s personality. When the Governor and Chief Minister cannot agree, like in West Bengal, the federal government must interfere and transfer the Governor to another state. The state’s interests should not be compromised in any way. It is far past time for the ministry of the interior to address this matter. It is to everyone’s best advantage to complete it quickly.


References

[1] Governors must work within constitutional parameters, not as agents of the Centre, Available Here

[2] Article 356 in The Constitution Of India 1949, Available Here

[3] Article 371 in The Constitution Of India 1949, Available Here

[4] The Governor-CM fight can’t be at the state’s cost, Available Here


Updated On 2022-05-24T12:39:58+05:30
Vartika Kulshrestha

Vartika Kulshrestha

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