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CM Chouhan in trouble; Adv. Tankha of Congress seeks President Rule in MP

Ramadhan Eid gift to GhazaBy Pervez Bari 
 
BHOPAL:  Madhya Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan seems to be in trouble as the one-man BJP Govt. in the state is in constitutional crisis with no council of ministers having been sworn-in even after nearly three weeks of having taken over the reins of power.

Congress Rajya Sabha member Adv. Vivek Tankha in a letter to the President of India Ram Nath Kovind has sought imposition of President’s rule in the state saying Chouhan was sworn-in amidst Coronavirus pandemic lockdown in Bhopal on March 23 – without a Cabinet. He cited Article 163 of the Constitution which mandates: “There shall be a Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister as the head to aid and advise the Governor in the exercise of his functions……”

The letter stated that a Government of a sole CM i.e. one-man government without a Cabinet is an unthinkable constitutional anathema. Madhya Pradesh is in the grip of Coronavirus pandemic yet there is not Health Minister in the state. The souls of great Dr. Ambedkar – whose jayanti falls on April 14 – and our founding fathers would be in tears in the perpetuation of this constitutional travesty.

The letter said: “Madhya Pradesh is in the grip of Covid-19. The situation in Indore is grave with the highest percentage of recorded deaths. Indore has been declared a corona hotspot. Bhopal suffers the agony of the administrative collapse of Health department with 45 plus IAS & other officials posted in the secretariat/offices having tested positive. Other towns though are ostensibly safe but with negligible testing to boast. The bureaucratic / police response of the State to the pandemic is pathetic. Now action under ESMA against doctors, health workers and others has been announced by CM on the advice of bureaucrats – whilst the country including the whole opposition is united as one in the fight against the pandemic on the call of the Prime Minister”.

“…if the Chief Minister is unable to form his Cabinet because of issues beyond his control, then a case of breakdown of constitutional machinery will be self-evident in the state of Madhya Pradesh, warranting the Union to consider the imposition of President’s Rule in the state,” Tankha wrote in the letter.

MP Governor maintaining silence
Before the situation deteriorates, further the Governor of Madhya Pradesh, who on a daily basis was sending DOs to Ex CM to hold a floor test between March 13 to 16, disregarding the captivity of Cong MLAs in Bengaluru; is maintaining an enigmatic silence despite this constitutional outrage. Madhya Pradesh deserves to be governed by a cabinet. This is what the Constitution mandates. Madhya Pradesh cannot be deprived of this constitutional privilege and specially so in this extreme crisis situation.

Alternatively, if the Chief Minister is unable to form his Cabinet because of issues beyond his control, then a case of breakdown of constitutional machinery will be self-evident in the state of Madhya Pradesh, warranting the Union to consider the imposition of President’s Rule in the state, Tankha demanded.

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