Four days ago, while addressing the annual convocation of National Law school of India University of Bangalore, President Shri Pranab Mukherjee advised the student community to carefully study the Indian Constitution and understand the political system that we have adopted. He also emphasized that democratic institutions and procedures established under the supreme law of the land also need to be understood in proper perspective.
What was in the back of President’s mind when he said so? Was it only the student community he was addressing? Presumably not that community alone but also perhaps the Aam Admi Party whose leaders erroneously believe that Delhi-ites have given them massive mandate to govern the national capital the way they like. If they so believe, their notions are grossly misplaced. No doubt they have been chosen by the people with landslide majority but chosen for what purpose? Is it to rule and govern Delhi just as the ruling parties do in other States? No. They have not been chosen to replace the Central Government- appointee Administrator of the Union Territory but to assist, aid and advice him on behalf of the people. By winning election they do not become “hukamraans”. Rather they become the chosen few who are to aid and advice the Lt. Governors in Union Territories like Delhi and Pondicherry where people’s representation are associated with the administration of the Union Territories.
India is a federation consisting of two kinds of federating units viz. UTs and States. But there is a crystal clear difference between the governance system of States and those of Union Territories. In States, periodic elections are held and the leader of the majority party in the State Assembly becomes the Chief Minister or the Chief executive and its is he who actually governs and exercise all state powers.
On the other hand in the territories of the Union, as per the Constitution which “We the people of India…..have adopted, enacted and given to ourselves” it is the President (who is bound to act on the aid and advice of the Union Cabinet) who administers such territories. This job is performed by Rashtrapati Ji through an Administrator called the Lt. Governor.
Today, we have 7 Union Territories in all, Out of these, in 5 such territories there is no elected setup worth the name and the L.G. has the unbridled authority. It is only in 2 of such Territories viz. Pondicherry and Delhi that we have an elected Assembly. The people who thus get elected, do not govern but render aid and advice to the Administrator in administering the said territory.
In the backdrop of the observations made by the President at the Law University in Bangalore, Kejriwal- Sisodia & Co. must understand and appreciate in proper perspective their powers and limitations in a Union Territory set-up.
Kejriwal- Sisodia would recall that immediately after their swearing- in ceremony when they jointly made a courtesy call in Rashtrapati Bhawan, the President had presented to them a copy of the Indian Constitution which they proudly flaunted before the media. What was there to be proud of? Actually, as the defender and protector of the Indian Constitution, Rashtrapati Ji by presenting a copy of the Constitution gave them a dignified rebuff befitting his stature.The unread Constitution copy must be adorning the shelf of the Leaders who must read it. While Mr. Sisodia’s predicament being a non-graduate may be understandable, Mr. Kejriwal, being an Ex-IRS officer looking for future at National level must brush up his knowledge of the Indian Constitution.
Since its coming into power, the AAP Govt. and its functionaries have repeatedly mocked at the Constitution and its architect and brazenly flouted the Laws, rules and conventions. To quote only a few instances:
1. Constitutionally Delhi is a territory of the Union of India and hence only the Central Govt. has the authority to govern it. But AAP netas who have been elected to assist, aid and advice the administrator (LG) erroneously feel that they are “State Govt.”, which they are not.
2. Dr. Ambedkar had declared that there shall be only one Govt. in Delhi having exclusive power over India’s Capital. And there could however be a city administration at local level to function under the President (Centre). But AAP claims they are a parallel Govt. with equal powers vis-s-vis the centre.
3. Constitution makers made Delhi a UT and placed it as chapter 8 in the Constitution and states put in chapter 6. AAP disagrees and applies provisions of chapter 6(viz. States) and not of UTs (Chapter 8) leading to constant conflicts.
4. Constitution provides that India has 29 States and 7 UTs. As per AAP’s interpretation, India has 30 States and 6 UTs. Are they not making mockery of Constitution.
5. Dr. Ambedkar was a staunch opponent of statehood for Delhi. AAP insults founding father and Dalit icon by repeatedly demanding statehood- a demand rejected umpteen times.
6. Constitution says that Delhi being the Capital and Head Quarter of federal Govt., all proposed laws shall be passed by 4 stake holders viz. Delhi Govt., LG, Central Govt. and Assembly. But AAP sidelines the two and straightway passes Bills as done in other States thereby vitiating lawmaking and reducing it to a nullity. That precisely is the reason that 14 of their Bills are yet to receive the Presidential nod.
7. Constitution provides for 3 State organs each independent and supreme in its allotted sphere. kejriwal Govt. has obliterated the dividing line between Govt. and Assembly by wresting Legislature’s control through a pliable Caretaker and planting 21 Trozen horses in Assembly premises reducing it to a merely rubber stamp legitimizer of executive actions.
8. Constitution provides for 3 regular Assembly sessions in a year and special session in case of emergency. But Delhi Govt. summons special session, to hurl abuses at high functionaries and criticize other institutions.
9. Constitution lays down that disciplinary authority for All India Service Officers ( IAS, DANICS etc.) is the Union Govt. But Delhi Govt. suspends and punishes such officers at their whims by issuing invalid “farmaans” without bringing the matter to LG’s notice.
10. Constitution provides that any Constitutional amendment, even removing or inserting comma or full stop, can be done by parliament by a special majority of 2/3rd members which neither UPA had nor NDA has. Caring two hoots for Constitution CM often demands control over Police or Statehood from PM as if asking for his car key or pen.
11. Delhi Govt. has so much disrespect for Constitution that Assembly Committee takes decision to summon LG who constitutionally administers Delhi on behalf of President. The moot point is that if President advises LG to ignore summons and not to appear, will the Committee or Assembly proceed against Rashtrapati Ji?