Sunday, February 7, 2010


The Joint Action committee of Telangana fired the resignations salvo to reign in all the politicians for the Telangana cause. At a time when the central government is resorting to cold storage tactics , the telangana JAC is putting forth the proposal of standing firm on the resignations to exert political pressure on the Congress party and the central government . Given the experience with the politicians who are known for their vacillation, perhaps, the JAC thought this as a method of pinning down the parties and politicians.

The congress party is speaking in many voices on the issue of resignations too. The high command is forcing its legislators to not to insist on the resignations. Infact, Veerappa Moily has publicly said that resignations would further complicate the problem. At the insistence of high command, the PCC chief personally appealed to congress legislators to not to resign. The ministers have in fact retreated on their decision to resign. On the other hand, the congress leaders are feeling the heat from the JAC. But , this is the self inflicted problem for the congress. It was the congress leaders who resigned . The deadlines were decided in the JAC with the full knowledge and approval from the congress leaders. . Now, the congress leaders are caught between the high command and the JAC.

Exploiting the congress dilemma, the TDP is pressurizing for the resignations. The TRS has of course no issue on the resignations as it does not have either high command or the political interests in the other region. In the entire episode the resignations has now turned out to be a weapon in the hands of parties to settle their scores rather than an instrument to further the Telangana cause.

The leaders are often referring to constitutional crisis to describe the fall out of their resignations. it is rather surprising that these leaders are ignoring a simple fact that constitutional crisis cannot be created at the state level. If there is any standoff, and the state government is not in a position to discharge its responsibility as per the constitution, the centre can always resort to Article 356. Will the president rule serve the cause of Telangana demand? The leaders are not interested to ask this question, leave alone finding an answer for this. Instead, they are choosing to play to the gallery.

If the legislators insist on acceptance of their resignations, there will be three choices. First, the Assembly and the government can continue as long as there is a chorum. In such a case, by elections will be held. The results are not going to prove anything. But, this is only a technical possibility. Though constitutionally such a course is possible .but, as eminent constitutional lawyer P P Rao remarked in a television interview, this is not politically possible. No party can continue Assembly proceedings and no government can continue to function when the house does not have representation from a region that too in such a surcharged atmosphere. The second possibility is the refusal by the Speaker to accept the resignations, as the constitution does not specify any time period for accepting the resignations. In such a case, the resignations are not going to serve any purpose.

The third possibility is to impose the president rule either by keeping the Assembly in suspended animation or dissolving the house. This would further delay the process of Telangana. Seeking the opinion of the state Assembly is mandatory for forming the new state though that opinion is not mandatory. The question of seeking the opinion of the house does not arise when the house is dissolved or kept under suspended animation. Thus it is hard to understand how the resignations would serve the cause of Telangana. . President rule would serve the political interests of the opposition and the lobby within the congress that has the plan to install somebody in power.

In fact in the wake of president rule even the existing democratic rights would be curtailed. The political leverage enjoyed by the Telangana activists would also diminish if not disappear.

The leaders are also using the words political crisis and the constitutional crisis as if they are synonyms. The real political crisis would be created if the legislators resign for the party. Such a political crisis would impose unprecedented political pressure on the party leadership which is vacillating and refusing to take any decision.

It is much more difficult to understand how the resignations of members of Legislative Council from their membership would serve any purpose. The Legislative Council is a permanent house. There is no dissolution for the Council. The Council exists even during the president rule .The council members have no role to play either in the formation of a government or on the question of Telangana. .The council members cannot in any way create either political or constitutional crisis even if they wish to do so. A simple reading of the constitution will make this clear.

Despite such constitutional clarity, it is rather interesting and at times baffling to note that the state politics and the media are agog with the resignation episode. The political leaders should demonstrate political maturity in their actions and statements rather than playing to the gallery on such a sensitive issue.

This article is originally written for the ‘Deccan Post’.

Read More Articles of the Same Author Here


No comments:

Post a Comment