Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala: The Decision-Maker is now under Spotlight

After the elections, Karnataka has now elected a hung assembly with Congress-JDS alliance on one side and BJP on the other. In a scenario like this, the spotlight has come over the Governor of Karnataka – Vajubhai R Vala. Vala, who had represented BJP, has to decide between his affiliated party and the Congress-JDS alliance. In fact, both the contenders are opting to create the new government.

When one looks at the political dilemma currently prevalent in the state of Karnataka, you may seem reluctant about the fact as it is something which has occurred in our nation several times. However, given the current political environment and the way the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is securing its position throughout the nation in an astounding manner, Karnataka’s political condition and the result is something everybody is glued to.

Both Congress and the BJP are not seeing a direct path for government formation in Karnataka. Thus everybody is waiting for governor Vala’s selection. Here’s a list of few things which must be discussed.

The Role of a Governor

In India, the president and the governors are considered to be nominal heads of the nation and states, respectively. The functions of a governor typically involve employing the other members of the Council of Ministers and hand out portfolios to them based on the recommendation of the chief minister. Furthermore, in the context of a hung assembly, the governor’s responsibility comes into focus. The governor uses his discretionary powers.

The governor would decide if the single largest party or the leader asserting majority with post-election coalition should be summoned to create the new government.

If a governor follows constitutional conventions in case of a hung Assembly then he/she can select:

  • The party or coalitions having received the most extensive support in the Legislative Assembly can be invited to create the government.
  • In case of a pre-poll coalition, the alliance can be treated as a single political party. Moreover, if the alliance receives the majority, then the leader of such an alliance shall be summoned by the Governor to build the new government.

Analysts have stated that the Governor can utilize his discretionary power to summon either the single largest party BJP or the post-poll-result coalition between the Congress and the JD(S).

Controversial Role of Governors

It is recommended that the governors of every state have got a neutral role to follow. However, several political experts have cited that a governor’s role in our nation can be quite controversial. This is because experts state, the governor is viewed as a puppet for the Government in power.

Way back in 1967, in West Bengal, the first United Front government (CPI (M), CPI and Bangla Congress) was dismissed in a controversial manner by the then Bengal governor Dharma Vira. Governor Vira had been opposed by the Left because he was reputed to be “Indira Gandhi’s Man.”

Another incident of such controversy took place in 1998 when the then UP Governor Romesh Bhandari, supposedly close to the Congress Party, dismissed the Kalyan Singh government and invited a government headed by Jagadamika Pal of the Loktantrik Congress.

Furthermore, during previous elections at Goa 2017, Manipur 2017 and Meghalaya 2018 the BJP appointed governors refrained from inviting the single largest parties in these states. Instead, they summoned the head of the majority alliance to create the government and establish their majority in a brief period. This is something Arun Jaitley even tweeted about stating that the governors did the constitutionally correct thing in Goa, Manipur, and Meghalaya.

Speculations Regarding Vala’s Decision

Reports state that Vala has always kept BJP’s choices ahead of his own. In fact, he was the person who vacated his seat, and Narendra Modi became the CM of Gujarat. Vala served as the finance minister of Gujarat during Modi’s tenure.

Vala has been the holder of significant portfolios like the BJP president in Gujarat, Assembly Speaker, and a Cabinet minister. Furthermore, the 79-year-old man had been a member of the RSS previously.

Many reports have been speculating that if Vala pursues tradition, he will probably bring in BJP, which is a single largest party, to create the new government.

Given the background Vala has and the choices other governors have made quite recently, speculations are at their height. However, theirs is still no solid evidence to state the ultimate result. The decision is yet to arrive.



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