Bad governance, frittering away public money


Prasanna Mohanty | February 2, 2010

Meghalaya chief minister D D Lapang
Meghalaya chief minister D D Lapang

Going even by all the extra-constitutional arrangements made in the past to keep governments afloat, the Meghalaya case is unparalleled in its sheer absurdity. The state now boasts of three more men holding "the rank and status of the chief minister", in addition to D D Lapang, the constitutionally appointed CM.

If you think the brouhaha over the matter would embarrass Lapang, you are wrong. He simply dismissed it as "nothing new" and told reporters
in Shillong that this had been going on in the state for the past 15 years! He was quoted as saying that "leaders like B B Lyngdoh, S C
Marak, E K Mawlong and even P A Sangma were given that (chief minister) status by past governments".

But it is a cause of worry. To T S R Subramaniam, former cabinet secretary, it is a clear case of bad governance. "It is failure of the government....a case of taking governance very lightly. The chief minister is not a rank but a post. Therefore, it is a misnomer to say that someone can have the rank and status of a chief minister," he says. Drawing a distinction between a deputy chief minister (which post also does not have constitutional sanction) and someone getting the rank and status of a chief minister, Subramaniam says the Meghalaya case should be challenged in court.

Subhash C Kashyap, former secretary-general, however, thinks that there may not be a legal flaw in the case and recalls how when Devi Lal's appointment as deputy prime minister (again without constitutional sanction) was challenged, the Supreme Court did not strike it down but observed that it was a mere "internal description" and had "no power" attached to the post.

Nevertheless, the move can be challenged in the court, Kashyap points out, on the ground of "frittering away public money" by giving perks
and privileges of the chief minister to people who have no such constitutional standing.

It may be recalled that such extra-constitutional arrangements were made first way back in 1967 when Morarji Desai was appointed deputy
prime minister to give stability to Indira Gandhi's government. Devi Lal became deputy prime minister twice for the very same reason, under
V P Singh and Chandrasekhar. Even L K Adani, for that matter. There have been several such instances but they don't raise eyebrows anymore, not until it reaches a new level of absurdity as in the case of Meghalaya.




Other News

Why sanitation should matter to you

How many times a day do you flush the toilet? This number is probably between five and eight times for an average person. How many times a day do you spare a thought towards what happens to the human waste after you flush it away? The answer to this is likely to be close to zero for most people.

Who is Eknath Shinde, the auto driver who became CM?

Hailing from Satara district of Maharashtra, Eknath Sambhaji Shinde had to leave his education midway to financially support his family. He worked as an auto rickshaw driver, a lorry driver and also said to have worked in a brewery before he came in contact with Anand Dighe, Shiv Sena’s Thane unit pr

Metro 3 car shed to stay at Aarey, say new CM Shinde

Former Maharashtra chief minister Davendra Fadnavis stunned all at a press conference Thursday and named Eknath Shinde, the rebel MLA from Shiv Sena, as the next chief minister. Though Fadnavis said he would stay out of the government, a few hours later the BJP leadership announced he would be the deputy c

Uddhav Thackeray resigns as chief minister of Maharashtra

Minutes after the Supreme Court ordered a floor test on Wednesday night, Uddhav Thackeray in a televised address resigned as the chief minister of Maharashtra and also as a member of legislative council (MLC). He later drove down to Raj Bhavan and tendered his resignation to the governor Bhagat Singh Koshi

Gig workforce expected to expand to 2.35 crore by 2029-30

The gig economy has arrived in India, as the Covid-19 pandemic has propelled a flexibility of employment. As many as 77 lakh workers were engaged in the gig economy, constituting 2.6% of the non-agricultural workforce or 1.5% of the total workforce in India. The gig workforce is expected to expand to 2.35

How Antyodaya Saral is simplifying everyday life in Haryana

From obtaining an electricity connection to a driver`s licence, ration card, or old-age allowance, delivery of government schemes and services is an aspect of governance that impacts citizens at various points throughout their lives. The Haryana state government provides over 600 such schemes and services.

Visionary Talk: Sanjay Pandey, Mumbai Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Current Issue


Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter