BHOPAL: Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tankha on Saturday wrote a letter to the governor for imposition of President's Rule in Madhya Pradesh on grounds that ‘unconstitutional’ governance of this state without a cabinet during COVID-19 crisis.
“Situation in Indore is grave with the highest percentage of recorded deaths. Indore has been declared a corona hotspot. Bhopal suffers the agony of administrative collapse of Health department with 45 plus IAS & other officials posted in the secretariat/offices having tested positive. Other towns though 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,” he claimed.
“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,” he wrote.
“I feel compelled to write against the illegally designed & poorly conceived one-man show unconstitutionally thrust upon 7.5 crore people of Madhya Pradesh. This shenanigan gravely impacts and imperils the war against coronavirus.
A chief minister is sworn amidst lockdown in Bhopal on March 23 - without a Cabinet. Article 163 of the Constitution mandates “There shall be a Council of Ministers with the chief minister as the head to aid and advice the governor in the exercise of his functions......” – he added.
CM's bravado is understandable but not in the public interest - just as the Principal Secretary Health’s insistence to continue working and issue health bulletins after being detected as corona positive, says Tankha adding, “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 Congress 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 especially 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.
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