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Private Member’s Bill to Abolish the Office of the Governor - CPI Press Release, May 30, 2023

Saturday 29 April 2023


Communist Party of India

April 20, 2023

Press Release

CPI Parliamentary Group leader and National Secretary Binoy Viswam submits Private Members’ Bill for the abolishing Governor’s office.

CPI leader and Rajya Sabha MP Shri Binoy Viswam submitted a private member bill for the abolishment of the Governor’s office which violates the balance of powers put in place by the Constitution between the Union and the states. The Governor, not being an elected representative of the people, ought not enjoy powers that interfere with the functioning of the democratically elected government of a state. The office of the Governor, is a colonial legacy and baggage prescribed by the Britishers, intended to suppress the legitimate democratic aspirations of the people of India. Thus, the Constitution must be amended to preserve the tenets of Democracy and Federalism that are enshrined in the constitution and to decolonise Indian polity.

The encroachment on co-operative federalism by the office of the Governor has been observed in several states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, West Bengal and Punjab over the years and has been intensifying over a range of issues including unnecessary interventions of Governors in the day-to-day administration and deliberate delays in giving assents to the Bills passed by democratically elected state assemblies. The office of Governor has been used to topple governments led by parties other the ruling party at the centre in Karnataka, Arunachal Pradesh and Maharashtra to name a few. Recently, Tamil Nadu Government was compelled to adopt a resolution for the second time this year, urging the centre to fix a timeframe for Governors to approve Bills passed by the Assembly. The resolution received support from many quarters including from the Government of Kerala. These frequent frictions between the office of the Governor and the state governments highlights Governor’s allegiance to the political party at the centre rather to the Constitution of India.

Post-independence, India opted for a system of federal polity with division of functions between various levels and organs of the government. Our Constitution has a well- defined structure for centre-state relations. The Constitution makers laid down a federal structure keeping in mind the diversity and aspirations of our people situated in various states of India but RSS as an organization is antagonistic to this diversity. Their idea of Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan is monolithic and seeks to flatten out the cultural, linguistic and regional diversity of our country. To achieve this objective and to cement a unidimensional flow of power in the country, the Modi Government has encroached upon the rights of states using the office of Governor on multiple occasions, thus eroding the federal spirit of our Constitution.

Many constitutional experts, commentators and pro-democracy groups have opined that the office of Governor has become a burden on India’s federal polity. Several states and political parties have also come out in opposition to this tendency of running India like a unitary country. In the context of Centre misusing the office of Governor like a political office to destabilize elected state governments, the demand for the abolition of the ornamental Governors’ office is also ever growing. The CPI, in its Party Congress held in Vijayawada, passed a resolution urging all democratic-federal forces to join hands in making our polity truly federal by abolishing the office of Governor. The Bill submitted to Parliament today is one more step in the direction of preserving the democratic and federal ethos of our Constitution.

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