Home Ministry asks for papers on Willy's installation

| 31 July 1998 23:51 IST

Following uproar in the Parliament yesterday over dismissal of the Congress government by the Goa governor, the union home ministry has asked for all the relevant papers from the Raj Bhavan here.

The central government has also believed to have asked for copies of the local newspapers since Monday, the day the Congress rebels revolted against former chief minister Pratapsing Rane, to gauge the public opinion in Goa.

Goa governor Lt Gen (retd) J F R Jacob however has declined to comment anything on the issue. "It is not proper to make statements when the issue is being debated in the House", said a Raj Bhavan official.

Newly sworn in chief minister Dr Wilfred de Souza however has said that his appointment is fully legal and constitutional. Even the Congress government was dismissed only when the governor got convinced that Rane was using all illegal methods to save his seat, he said.

Rane, while countering BJP spokesman Venkaiah Naidu's defence that he had not won the confidence motion in the House, asks how then the financial business he had taken up the next day was accepted by the governor. The Assembly was prorogued by governor Jacob, accepting passing of the finance bill.

Though the opposition parties in the Parliament demanded recall of the governor, local people were in fact cursing the Raj Bhavan for not dismissing the government on Tuesday itself, when the speaker got the confidence motion passed by making mockery of the House proceedings.

While the Congress needed only eight MLAs to split the party, the breakaway group consisted of ten people. Five among them were told to have been expelled with retrospective effect from Friday, to reduce their number to five, which is less than one third, the required strength for a split as per the anti-defection act.

It also followed two disqualification petitions filed before the speaker, one against the five and another one against all the ten members of the splinter group led by newly sworn in chief minister Wilfred de Souza.

In order to help the chief minister win the confidence vote in the House on Tuesday, the speaker acted upon the petition against the ten members and passed an interim order restraining them from entering the House. The motion was passed amidst chaos and din in the House, while the speaker could not quote any provision for his action.

The interim order, which was later confirmed the following day, was immediately challenged in the high court, arguing that the speaker has no authority to pass such an order. After heated arguments taken place for last three days, the high court is expected to give its verdict on Monday.

Meanwhile, former union law minister Ramakant Khalap has described Goa governor's action to dismiss the Congress government as perfectly constitutional since no other method was left to save the situation.

Expressing regrets over the objections raised by senior Parliamentarians like P Shiv Shankar and Somnath Chatterjee in the Parliament yesterday over installing a coalition government led by de Souza, he said the statements are made out of total ignorance.

"If such illegal government was not dismissed", feels Khalap, "the speaker's unconstitutional order would have gone unchallenged, giving all the speakers a licence to indulge in similar misuse of the tenth schedule of the constitution". He had misused the powers which are not vested in him, he added.

While laughing out Shiv Shankar's allegation that de Souza's installation was a rape of democracy, the former union minister said on the contrary, the speaker's action to allow reigning chief minister to allow to win the confidence vote through manipulations was the real rape of democracy.

In fact, Rane should have immediately resigned the minute more than one third of MLAs had split from his party and he was left with only 15 supporters against 23 on the other side. There was no other method the governor could have saved the situation, he added.

Drop a comment

Enter The Code Displayed hereRefresh Image


General