Something unusual seems to be happening nowadays at the PMO Office. After a lull for 10 years, the office as well as its staff suddenly seems to have sprung back to life. The Prime Minister’s entourage appear to be at an all time high effectiveness after reports suggesting that the leader was going quite the unconventional way to check whether his staff was being sincere or not. The new Prime Minister is the last one to take a soft stance of inefficiency, judging from his reputation of being a diligent worker. Moreover his slogan while campaigning was quite the same, ‘Good days are about to come.’ And good days would require a lot of sincere effort especially in the present state of roaring inflation and economic slowdown.
But one disturbing fact has also caught everyone’s attention. Modi indeed had one more slogan during his wide reaching campaign, ‘Vote for a Congress free India.’ Well he seems to have taken that thing a bit too seriously. A few days ago it was announced that Modi’s ministers were not allowed to appoint bureaucrats with former affiliations with the U.P.A government as their personal secretaries or even as Officers on Special Duty (OSD). While some would debate that this step would reduce sycophancy and arguments of transparent appointments may be raised, the real question is why an honest government official should pay for political vendetta pursued by our respected politicians.
The second issue has caught far more attention and a few days ago you could see this as a hotly debated issue in almost all the premier news channels of the nation. The Narendra Modi lead NDA government has quite unceremoniously decided to punctuate B.L.Joshi’s tenure as the Governor of Uttar Pradesh. If reports are to be believed then 10 more governors who are believed to be U.P.A confidants can be asked to step down. If they do not, they might be asked to resume their careers in smaller states. Many governors have started to cry foul and if reports are to be believed, Kerala governor Sheila Dixit and her Gujarat counterpart Kamala Beniwal are disinclined to resign and may even mull on judicial action in what could result to be a major embarrassment for the N.D.A regime.
Well, you would have to sympathize with these bureaucrats who seem to be bearing Modi’s grunt against the Congress. Some of them are complaining of double standards as Ajit Singh considered close to the P.M was granted an extension and they were being axed. While many would argue that the government holds complete authority over the appointment as well as removal of a governor but the steps taken do seem to undermine the spirit of the Constitution. According to a May 2010 SC order, the government did not possess unlimited rights to remove a governor in an ‘arbitrary manner with change of power.’ The governor can be removed at any time without any reason made public but there must be a written record of the strong reason, in case he challenges the government in the court. Further the Constitution guarantees that the right to remove a governor cannot be exercised in an ‘arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable manner.’
During a debate on N.D.T.V hosted by Raveesh Kumar many important points were made on this issue. A retired judge expressed grief on how politicized a constitutional post had become and how due to the dirt surrounding them some honest officers get besmirched. Granted that the U.P.A made a joke of the post by inducting people with conspicuous political inclinations at such posts but the shift of government has also spelt doom for many others who are paying the price for being sincere to the duty. Another remarkable point raised in the show was that to clearly understand any law we must look at its journey from the time of it being framed to its present form.
The N.D.A presently would not be worried about such accepted political vendettas. But they can’t deny the fact that today’s public aided by the ever expanding media have sharp brains who can decipher the political games being played behind the scenes. We voted for an ‘efficient’ but also ‘ethical’ government. Perhaps it is the time that the B.J.P makes proper use of its favourable numbers in the House to pass a law that can put this malicious practice to an end. A favourable mandate should be viewed as a propitious privilege to make a mark with good governance, not as an opportunity to carry out a ‘tit for tat’ movement against your political opponents. Public mandate is a great leveler that may welcome you on fluffy cushion at one time and may ruthlessly throw you off it once they realize that you are not up to the job entrusted to you.

Rahul Mazumdar

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