State Governors coterminous with Central Govt?

I fully support an incoming Central govt. starting on a clean slate by appointing its own emissaries to the states: Governor. A Governor by definition is Centre’s representative to oversee the affairs of the state government, and as such needs full confidence of the Centre to perform her role. This confidence of Centre is precisely what gives her legitimacy in the state capital because she isn’t otherwise democratically elected. Her role becomes super-critical if the state comes under President’s rule (as Delhi is as we speak). If the Centre cannot rule the state under such circumstances because of a hostile governor, well, she loses the confidence of Centre to remain situated in that high office.

A glimpse of what Modi regime is facing today: Several former full-time Congress leaders such as HR Bharadwaj, Shiela Dixit, Kamala Beniwal, and Margaret Alva occupying Raj Bhavans across the state capitals. The most memorable appointment is of Shiela Dixit’s who just made it in the nick of time before UPA govt fell. There is news that Centre has informally asked some of them to put in their papers.

However, my request to Modi government is this: Please institutionalize the arrangement of a Governor resigning when a new Central govt. takes over. This will take discretion / arbitrariness out of the process, and give Centre a free hand to choose their emissary without having to invent reasons to defend in Supreme Court. Governors can be treated at par with Union Cabinet and Secretaries whose terms also expire with the Prime Minister. Every governor should voluntarily submit their resignations at the advent of a regime change. The new Prime Minister can always choose to retain some governors on the grounds of political neutrality and administrative skills, while letting go of the political appointees of the previous regime.

I hope the government brings in appropriate amendments to laws (and Constitution if necessary) for this institutionalization. Once the idea is institutionalized, the scope for misuse narrows.

Kerala Gov. Shiela Dixit (Source: alternates/FREE_768/sheila%20Dikshit)


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