Public Administration Mains 2018 : Model Question and Answer - 68

(Public Administration Paper II / Chapter: State Government and Administration)

(Current Based) Question: Why there is all time need for the office of Governor to be non-partisan, and to be seen to be so too ? (20 Marks/250 Words )

Model Answer:

The ruling CPM in Kerala has criticised the state governor, P. Sathasivam, for editing out some references critical of the Centre and the BJP from the text of his Budget address in the Assembly — and the office of governor is the centre of yet another unseemly controversy.

By convention, the governor reads out the speech, vetted by the Cabinet, in its entirety. But that is not what appears to have informed the Kerala governor’s selective reading of the Budget speech. It is true that in the constitutional scheme, the governor can use his high office and the space for judgement and discretion that comes with it, to guard the letter and spirit of the constitution.

Of course, Sathasivam is not the first governor to invite accusations of partisan conduct favouring the ruling dispensation at the Centre. At a time when a perception of institutional decline is gaining ground, the Sathasivam controversy is a warning and a reminder that the integrity of this constitutional office will be damaged at the system’s peril.

The Sarkaria Commission, appointed in 1983 to study Centre-State relations, severely criticised the functioning of the governor and proposed a set of guidelines to restore the office’s reputation.

The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution appointed by the Vajpayee government in 2000 and the Punchhi Commission set up by the UPA in 2007 echoed Justice Sarkaria’s suggestions. However, all political parties in power have wilfully ignored the recommendations. (Total Words- 242)

Valuable inputs from The Indian Express Editorials : ‘Governor’s rule’

(Linkages: Office of Governor and State Cabinet, Governor and Partisan Conduct, Role of Governor and Sarkaria Commission )

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