DISCUSSION UNDER RULE 193
REMOVAL OF GOVERNORS OF FOUR STATES
ON THE BASIS OF THEIR IDEOLOGY
Title: Removal of Governor of four states on the basis of their ideology.
MR. SPEAKER: Discussion under Rule 193.
Shri L.K. Advani.
MR. SPEAKER: On what?
SHRI VARKALA RADHAKRISHNAN : As per rule 194, sub-clause (1):
"… if an early opportunity is otherwise available for the discussion of the matter the Speaker may refuse to admit the notice." Here is a case where the General Budget was presented before the House on the 8th July, 2004 and we have an earlier opportunity for discussing this matter during the discussion on the General Budget. He could avail of it. Politics should not overweigh the democratic traditions. My humble request is that we will abide by the rules wherein an early opportunity must be availed of in discussing this issue. This is also closely in connection with the discussion under rule 193.
Moreover, my humble submission is that they have taken the matter to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is seized of the matter. We are supreme. We will await the decision of the Supreme Court. As I said, as a supreme body, we have a right to take a decision in these matters. It is a constitutional matter. We have every right to take a decision. Let us wait till the decision of the Supreme Court is made available. That is my humble submission. … (Interruptions) Not only that, discussion at this stage will directly or indirectly influence the decision of the Supreme Court. … (Interruptions) These are my points. … (Interruptions)
MR. SPEAKER: Why are you getting excited? Let me do my job.
SHRI VARKALA RADHAKRISHNAN : Anyhow, I must submit that political expediency shall not overweigh the parliamentary democratic traditions. With these words, I put my point of order. I oppose this. … (Interruptions) But in principle, I fully agree with the discussion. I am not standing in the way of discussion. In principle, I agree but that should not be at the risk of parliamentary democratic traditions because it will go on record for the future generation to see that anything can be discussed when there is an earlier opportunity. This is my humble submission.
MR. SPEAKER: Earlier opportunity is the Budget. Is not it? You yourself have said that we are supreme.
SHRI VARKALA RADHAKRISHNAN : The earlier opportunity is the discussion on the General Budget.
MR. SPEAKER: Let us discuss the financial matters there.
The Leader of Opposition.
MR. SPEAKER: It is a very valid point but not raised at quite an appropriate time.
SHRI VARKALA RADHAKRISHNAN : But it should not be at the risk of democratic traditions.
MR. SPEAKER: Do not ask for the ruling. It will be a precedent against you.
(GANDHINAGAR): Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have raised this discussion. There is no question of any political expedience. I think this is a matter which deserves to be debated and the hon. Home Minister, Shri Shivraj Patil is here. I have known him for a long period of time. I would urge him to view this issue with an open mind. Some decisions have been taken and it would be my humble endeavour to point out that these decisions have not been taken taking into account the full implications of all these decisions. It is, therefore, that the motion as worded is a discussion regarding removal of Governors of four States on the basis of their ideology.
Sir, before I come to the issue proper, I would like to make a few observations about the Indian Constitution insofar as its federal character is concerned.
The Constituent Assembly deliberations show that there was an attempt by some Members to describe it as a Federation of States but the Constituent Assembly did not favour this. Dr. Ambedkar personally favoured the use of the word ‘Union’ and article 1 described India as a Union of States. I would think that the Constitution of India, as it emerged from the deliberations of the Constituent Assembly, has important federal features but it is not a federation in the classical sense. It cannot be, of course, called a unitary Constitution. It is not.
According to Dr. Ambedkar who was the Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly, ‘it is unitary in extraordinary situation, such as war but is federal in normal circumstances.’ Now, Dr. Ambedkar himself described what he thought and why he thought that Union was more appropriate. He did it brilliantly when he said: "Thought India is to be a federation, the federation is not the result of an agreement by the States to join in the federation and that the federation not being the result of an agreement, no State has the right to secede from it. The federation is a union because it is indestructible. Though the country and the people may be divided into different States for convenience of administration, the country is one integral whole. Its people, a single people living under a single imperium derived from a single source."
Now, these are Dr. Ambedkar’s views accepted by the Constitution makers. There can be ideologies which do not subscribe to this. There are ideologies. This is not the occasion for going into all that. But there are ideologies which hold that India is a multinational State. It is not a single nation, State.
The Americans, Dr. Ambedkar said, had to wage a civil war to establish that the States have no right of secession and, therefore, federation was indestructible. The Drafting Committee thought that it was better to make it clear at the outset rather than to leave it to speculation or disputes.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the first two decades of Independence, from 1947 right up to 1967, broadly speaking, the Centre as well as the States were governed by one single party. It was a single dominant party polity that we experienced during the first two decades of Independence, and so problems relating to Centre and States did not arise in the manner in which they arose subsequently. In those two decades, if there were any problems, they were sorted out within the structure of the dominant party itself. So, it was the Constitutional experts like Morrice who said: "It is only after 1967 that India became a federation in the real sense of the word."
In fact, I was going though some old addresses of Presidents to Governors’ Conferences, and I found that it was in 1969 that Rashtrapati Shri V.V. Giri opened his address to the Governors’ Conference saying that: ‘Today, more than at any time before… (Interruptions)
MR. SPEAKER: Just a second, please.
I request all the hon. Members to please switch off their mobile phones, whosoever have them here, and please do not bring them inside the House in future.
Yes, please continue Advaniji.
SHRI L.K. ADVANI : Rashtrapati Shri Giri had said on December 12, 1969:
"Today more than at any time before, the Governors are called upon to face situations which were perhaps not fully envisaged when our Constitution was made." I am not precise about the date, but perhaps Members from Tamil Nadu would enlighten me on that because during that period the Tamil Nadu Government also thought that it was necessary to examine this problem of Centre-State relations, and they set up Rajamannar Commission. It was later, perhaps around the early 1980s, that the issue of Centre-State came to the forefront and became acutely debated, against the backdrop of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution, pushed forward by the Shiromani Akali Dal. Mrs. Gandhi was the Prime Minister at that time. I recall the All-Party Meeting she had convened. I was also a participant in that meeting; the Shiromani Akali Dal was also there. The debate went on for maybe two days or three days; an elaborate discussion was there on Centre-State relations – how the Centre has become all powerful, the States have lost their authority, etc. etc. As a result of that, Mrs. Gandhi decided that we set up a Commission, the Sarkaria Commission to probe those questions thoroughly in all its aspects, and that it should be a comprehensive study of the problem of Centre-State relations.
SHRI L.K. ADVANI : It was announced in 1983, but it was in early 1980s that the discussion went on; as you rightly said, it was in 1983 – on March 24th, 1983 – that in Parliament, Mrs. Gandhi announced this proposal to set up the Commission under the Chairmanship of Shri Sarkaria, a retired Judge of the Supreme Court. She declared and I quote:
"The Commission will review the existing arrangements between the Centre and the States, while keeping in view the social and economic developments that have taken place over the years. The review will take into account the importance of unity and integrity of the country, for promoting the welfare of the people." She further enunciated that the Commission would examine ‘the working of the existing arrangements between the Centre and the States and recommend such changes in the said arrangement as deemed appropriate within the present constitutional framework’.
The Sarkaria Commission was set up in 1983. It laboured hard for five years. In the year 1988, it submitted its voluminous reports; it was in two volumes, and it was running into something like 1600-1700 pages. My Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party also submitted a memorandum to the Commission. The Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and several units of these Parties also submitted their memoranda to the Commission. At the end of these labours, I hold that insofar as the Centre-State relations are concerned, it is a monumental document that has been produced, a very weighty document, though there may be some aspects of the document which one may say that it has become outdated. But broadly speaking, the labour has been enormous; it was awesome really.The Indian Constitution also provided that if need be, if the President so feels – when it says that if the President so feels it means that if the Government of India so feels – it can set up an Inter-State Council, to examine matters of common interest to States or to the Union and the States. I know that since 1967 or may be even earlier, since the early 1960s, my Party, the Jan Sangh at that time, and several other Opposition Parties had been demanding setting up of an Inter-State Council.