CMs Of Telugu States Destroying Spirit Of The Constitution, Live In Foolsa�� Paradise

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have thrown up to stable Governments in 2014 elections. Why are the CMs indulging in horse-trading thus destroying common mana��s faith in the Constitution?

Jaya Prakash Adusumilli

Of late, a vast majority of IndiansA� areA� confronted with a piquant situation, whereinA� theA� so calledA� guardians ofA� ConstitutionA� areA� displaying utter contempt towardsA� the provisions ofA� the Constitution and the spirit behind it. The latest offenders on theA� constitution being Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Speaker of APA� AssemblyA�A� andA� theA� Chief A�MinisterA� ofA� AndhraA� Pradesh, who areA� consideredA� toA� beA� theA� highA� priestsA�A� ofA� ConstitutionA� andA� haveA� takenA� pledgeA� inA� theA� nameA� ofA�A� the ConstitutionA� toA� protect the same, who have virtually molested the Constitution and theA� new capital of Andhra Pradesh, ie., Amaravati is a silent spectator for the massacre of the Constitution.

AsA� per theA� provisions of theA� anti-defection law, which is a partA� of the Constitution, the peoplea��s representatives, who shift their loyalties to another party, run the risk of forfeiture of their representative status. However, inA� the twin Telugu states of Telangana & Andhra Pradesh, the anti-defection law is nullified and A�the turncoats areA� rewardedA� withA� the ministerial berths. Even thoughA� theA� appointmentA� ofA� ministersA� isA� theA� prerogative ofA� theA� ChiefA� Minister, he shallA� exerciseA� his powersA� withinA� theA� frame work of the constitution. He is legally bound to select his own party members or neutral members,A� whoA� areA� notA� affiliated to any other political A�party, as ministersA� inA� his cabinet. However, both the Chief ministers of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are guilty of inducing defection in theA� oppositionA� parties A�byA� offeringA� ministerial postsA� asA� aA� rewardA� forA� theirA� defection. TheA� GovernorA� isA� duty-boundA� toA� remindA� theA� ChiefA� Ministers A�ofA� thisA� provisionA� inA� theA� ConstitutionA� andA� shallA� ensureA� stoppageA� ofA� horseA� trading. However,A� theA� presentA� GovernorA� hasA� notA� onlyA� subjugatedA�A� theA� ConstitutionA�A� A�butA� in factA� hasA� encouragedA� defectionsA� byA� administeringA� theA� oathA� ofA�A� ministryA� toA� theA� defectedA� members.A�A�A� ItA� isA� expectedA�A� thatA� theA� President ofA� India A�willA� interfereA� andA� prevent theA� GovernorA� fromA� violationA� ofA� theA� Constitution. But A�A�President Pranab Mukherjee has displayed a studied silence on the matter.

Further,A� theA� roleA� ofA� SpeakerA� inA� theA� entireA� episodeA� hasA� invitedA� all-roundA� condemnation. The office of Speaker is consideredA� toA� be a sacrosanct institution andA� stalwarts like Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar, Ananthasayanam Iyengar, who adorned the office of Speaker in the 1950s, have brought great credibility and respect toA� theA� institution. However, ofA� late, degenerationA� and degeneration has occurred in theA� augustA� office and utilizing the office ofA� Speaker to meet their personal ambitions and supporting the political needs of the rulingA� party. The blame for degrading the Speakera��s position squarely lies on the doorstep of Congress party which has virtually destroyed the credibility ofA�A� the Speaker position. However, the political parties, which have criticized the Congress party, have further denigrated the Speakera��s post whenever an opportunity was presented before them.

InA� theA� firstA� Andhra Pradesh assemblyA� meetingA� atA� Amaravati, the Speaker has stated that the opposition party of YSR Congress party has a strength of 66A� MLAs.A�A�A�A� However, 20 of them have occupiedA� the TreasuryA� benches (The 21st defector Bhuma Nagireddy passed away recently) and the Speaker has chosen to ignore the same. Further,A� theA� speechesA� madeA� by those 20 MLAs are being accounted on behalf of the YSRC party. The anti-defection law authorizes the Speaker to disqualify the defected MLAs. However, the present day Speakers, who are loyalists of the ruling party,A�A� follow the disqualification process only in its breach for years together, to suit the requirements of the ruling party. Accordingly, one MLA defected from Telugu Desam party has become a minister in the Cabinet of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).

The Chief minister of Andhra Pradesh has made a hue and cry at theA� defection of a single member from his party, whereas, he has ensured defection of 21 MLAs from YSRC party and made four of them ministers inA� hisA� Cabinet. In both these cases, the Speaker has scrupulously followed the dikat of the ruling party and made a mockery of the Constitution and democratic system.

But the big question before the general public is why the present day governments of both the Telugu speaking States are indulging in such nefarious activities. The people of the two States have provided them with absolute majorities and presented an opportunity for them to function as statesmen. However, they are stooping very low to destroy the opposition parties and living in a figment of imagination that their parties would be winning elections after elections by dismantling the oppositionA� and in the process they are surrounded by political touts and opportunists. In order to cover up their failures, they are creating a rift between various social segments. However, history of Indian electionsA� are replete with various instances to show that the general public may be stubborn and unrelenting on various issues but when it comes to choosing their leaders, they have an uncanny ability to separateA� husk from the grain.

(The writer is a political analyst and former MLA from Vijayawada)

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