BY: Ajaz Ahmad War
Governor is a post of pivotal importance in Indian Federal system with every State and Union Territory having the post of Governor.
In India the Governor is the Executive Head of the State within the meaning of Article 153 and 154 of the Constitution of India. Article 154 vests the executive powers of the State in the Governor who exercises it either directly or through officers subordinate to him in accordance with the Constitution. Under Article 163, the Governor as the Constitutional Head exercises all powers under the Constitution on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers. It includes summoning and proroguing the Session of the State Legislature, Promulgation of Ordinances, giving assent to the Bills and appointing the Council of Ministers.
There are certain functions, which are possibly to be exercised by the Governor in his/her discretion as sending report to the President under Article 356 and reserving Bill for the consideration of the President under Article 254(2).
The Governor is the appointing authority in respect of the following authorities:
The Lokayukta and Upa Lokayukta
The State Election Commissioner
The Chairman and Members of the Human Rights Commission
The Chairman and Members of Public Service Commission
The State Chief Information Commissioner and members of Information.
It is pertinent to mention that Governors given additional charges in different parts of India is raising eyebrows that why despite India being a ocean of political and administrative talent additional charges are given.
The examples of it are glaring.
Anandiben Mafatbhai Patel (an Indian politician serving as the 28th and current Governor of Uttar Pradesh. She is also serving as Governor of Madhya Pradesh (additional charge). She has served as the former Chief Minister of Gujarat. She was the first female chief minister of the state.She was a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 1987. She was the Cabinet Minister for Education from 2002 to 2007.
On the other hand, Bhagat Singh Koshyari (born 17 June 1942) who has been well known politician serving as the Governor of Maharashtra and the Governor of Goa (additional charge).An RSS veteran, Koshyari served as National Vice-President of BJP and party’s 1st State president for Uttarakhand. He also served as 2nd Chief Minister of Uttarakhand (formerly Uttaranchal) from 2001 to 2002 and thereafter, he was the leader of the opposition in the Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly from 2002 to 2003. He has also served as an MLC in Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council (when Uttarakhand was part of undivided Uttar Pradesh) and MLA in Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly. Later Served as an MP in Rajya Sabha from 2008 to 2014 from Uttarakhand and then the MP in the 16th Lok Sabha from Nainital-Udhamsingh Nagar constituency, earning him the distinction of being elected in both houses of State Legislature and both houses of National Parliament respectively.
Recently after the Kiran Bedi removal the Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan will discharge the duties of the Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry in addition to her own duties. She was former President of the Tamil Nadu BJP. She was also the National Secretary and Tamil Nadu State Unit President of the BJP prior to this appointment.
From large states like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh to the Union Territory like Puddicherry and even small states like Goa the Governors overstretched by the additional charges according to both political pulse and political experts raises huge questions.
The need of the hour is that no Governor or Lietuant Governor holds additional charges in India as it demeans not just the role of post of Governor in India but also raises question marks on our democratic ethos.