‘Abolish office of Governor’

While speaking to NewsX, Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Senior National Spokesperson for the Congress made an interesting observation. He suggested that it was time that the office of the Governor was abolished. Of course it is easy to see his immediate provocation, for the Congress has been upset with current Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra. The party has accused the former BJP leader of being partisan over his delay in calling a session of the Rajasthan Assembly. Singhvi certainly has a valid point, because Governors usually tend to favour the party that appoints them; this is a game that was started by the Congress itself. Now having fallen foul of it they want the system to be re-hauled. Given that the Governor’s office is a Constitutional one, the suggestion does have some merit.

View from the Valley

National Conference MP and a former judge of the J&K High Court, Hasnain Masoodi recently claimed that his party leaders had been misled on the government’s real intentions as regards the revocation of Article 370. While speaking to NewsX, he said that on 31 July last year while hearing rumours and seeing additional troops being sent to the Valley, some NC leaders, including both Farooq and Omar Abdullah, had met the Prime Minister in Delhi. During the meeting the PM apparently asked about Farooq’s health and even talked about holding Assembly polls in the state in October. “He misled us and sent us back reassured and five days later Article 370 and 35A were revoked and the state was downgraded to a UT,” alleged Masoodi.

Divided Response

Interestingly, Masoodi’s party chief Omar Abdullah has also given a spate of print interviews recently where he made a similar point. Abdullah also pointed out that what he was “deeply resentful” about was the support of other non BJP parties to the dismemberment of his state and the downgrading to UT status. Immediately after his interview, two Congress leaders, Shashi Tharoor and Manish Tewari, reacted on Twitter, with Tharoor tweeting that “while your disappointment with much of the Opposition is understandable please don’t tar us all with the same brush”. He posted some of the speeches he made in Parliament as did Tewari; and since then, in subsequent interviews, Omar has qualified that as, “one or two individuals in the Congress party” the rest effectively forgot about.

A ‘chirag’ of controversy

While one is not sure if Bihar elections will be held on time or not, given the rising number of Covid cases, one thing is clear: the politicking has well and truly begun. First it was the Mahagathbandan lot that couldn’t agree on its CM candidate. Few have faith in Tejashwi Yadav it seems, including Boss (which is how he referred to Rahul Gandhi in a tweet last year). But equally now it seems as if the NDA too has a troubled house with the JD(U) reportedly asking the BJP to rein in Chirag Paswan, for Chirag has been questioning his own state government on governance issues. One reason could be that the BJP is propping up the LJP to counter Nitish Kumar. For, having learnt its lesson from Uddhav Thackeray, the party is not sure which way Nitish could swing. Hence the BJP has outright ruled out the LJP’s demand for 40 Assembly seats in the coming elections, for that will give Nitish less room to manoeuvre. Equally to counter the LJP, Nitish is humouring the HAM leader Jiten Ram Manjhi, who apparently wants to move out of the Mahagathbandan and has reportedly reached out to the JD(U). So elections may be a few months away but politicking has begun.