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The Big Picture – Bihar Imbroglio: Why has it escalated?


The political crisis in Bihar has gone deeper. The Patna High Court has termed the election of Nitish Kumar, the leader of JDU, as illegal. Meanwhile the governor of Bihar has allowed the present Chief Minister to seek a vote of confidence. The JDU has expelled the CM from its party. These developments remind us 1980s situations when such crisis was common in several states. The Bommai judgement which came in mid 90s has brought about some stability. However, with the fresh crisis one needs to have fresh look at constitutional and legal position.

Some are calling it as a constitutional malpractice.  Since Governor has not paid any heed to the appeals made, some are even calling this as horse trading. To increase the tension caste factor is brought into the issue. However, Constitutional experts have supported the governor’s move.  And they have also been saying that the governor’s address can only take place after the trust vote takes place.

But opponents say that, the way a decision is being delayed is a clear indication that purchasing of MLAs is being done at the behest of the Centre. Governor address is about the effectiveness of the government. With no stability in the government the governor cannot address the house. The Bommai judgement does not put any constraints on the powers of the governor while dealing with such crisis. It requires the Governor to act independently.

Democratic practices and conductions are thrown into the air in this case. The governor is not allowing Nitish Kumar to prove his majority on the floor of house even with 130 MLAs support. Normally, the President does not interfere in such matters unless governor submits a report about the instability of the State Government. Constitution does not recognise a political party except for the 10th schedule.