Appointment of Governors and their role

Appointment of Governors in states is a controversial issue. Discuss.

Governor is the constitutional head of state. His position is influenced from Canadian constitution.  As per article 155 & 156, governor is appointed by President and holds office during the pleasure of president. It was debated in constitutional assembly that whether governor should be elected or nominated. Debate was resolved in favour of nomination process as an elected Governor would not be a ‘constitutional head’ and will be ‘Real Head’. This can result in friction between the Chief Minister and Governor.

Appointment of governor has always remained in controversies since 1967 when single party rule at centre and state was over. Constitution vests full power of selection and appointment of Governor in President but normally two conventions also govern his nomination: Consultation with respective chief minister and incumbent of office should be from the outside the concerned state so that he would be free from state politics. In practice both conventions have been violated in many cases, therefore resulting in stressed relations.

There is no fixed criterion for the appointment of governors. In most cases people who had to be rewarded for their personal loyalty are appointed Governors. Defeated candidates, ‘favourate’ bureaucrats are often appointed as per the need and convenience of ruling party. People who are in active politics are also being appointed as Governor.

Sarkaria Commission rightly observers that there is steep fall in the number of Governors who are eminent in some walk of life. Similarly M. M. Punchi commission opined that politicization of the office of Governor and his appointment on the basis of whims and fancies of central govt. is not in right spirit of constitution.

Criticism against Governors can be avoided if selection is done on right principles. Sarkaria Commission recommended that a joint committee containing Prime Minister, Vice President, Leader of opposition and Home minister should recommend name of governor to President. Discussion with respective Chief Minister also should be done, however his views may not be followed necessarily.  National Commission for Reviewing Working of Constitution (NCRWC) has also recommended committee based selection on the same line.

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Some appreciation please!

  Posted on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015 at 6:03 AM under   Polity