In a day of hectic political activities, speaker Ishwardas Rohani met governor Ram Naresh Yadav soon after the latter returned to Bhopal from a four-day Delhi visit.
Yadav had invited Rohani to Raj Bhavan to discuss legality of the manner in which the monsoon session of the state assembly was adjourned by the speaker without allowing a debate on it.
Before Rohani, leader of Opposition in the state assembly Ajay Singh met the governor.
The governor had left for Delhi without signing the notification proroguing the House, triggering speculations that he might ask the state government to recall the House to allow a debate on no-confidence motion. During his ‘secretive’ Delhi visit, the governor is said to have met a number of union ministers, Congress party leaders and the Prime Minister.
It was speculated that Yadav was not convinced of the legality of speaker’s action in adjourning the House sine dine even as Congress-sponsored no-trust motion was to come up for debate and he was exploring possibilities on whether he could ask the state government to recall the session under the provisions of the Constitution.
His Delhi visit was also being interpreted in this context.
Following his meeting with the governor, Ishwardas Rohani admitted that the governor asked him about the proceedings of the House on the day it was adjourned prematurely and whether it was in keeping with the law.
“I explained to him in what circumstances the House was adjourned and its proceedings preceding that. I gave my arguments on why it was imperative to do it and in support of my arguments cited seven-judge verdict of the Supreme Court, Gujarat high court decision and rulings of the Lok Sabha.
He was convinced and there is no possibility of assembly session now,” he told HT.
There was no official word from Raj Bhavan on the governor’s decision on recalling the House but informed sources said that the governor was only supposed to get a feedback from the speaker on what had happened that day in the House that led to a situation that it had to be adjourned sine dine without debate on the noconfidence motion.
“He would not tell the speaker to recall the House in any case. Even if he has to do it, he would reach out to the chief minister and his cabinet,” said a Raj Bhavan official on condition of anonymity.
Rohani and the state government have maintained that the governor doesn’t have the jurisdiction to recall the House unilaterally and it has to be done at the recommendation of the state cabinet.
Opposition Congress, on the other hand, has maintained that the governor could do it.
The Congress legislative party (CLP) memorandum presented to the governor for recalling the House had referred to his powers under article 154 of the Constitution.
On Wednesday too, Ajay Singh met the governor with law books to buttress his argument that the governor should go ahead with recalling the House.
A Congress leader, however, said that the governor has been advised in Delhi to invoke his powers under article 175 of the Constitution, which provides that the governor could call the House for an address on an important issue.
In this case, the governor in his address could urge the House to consider the no-trust motion, he said on condition that his idenity won’t be disclosed.
On the other hand, an expert in legislative matters said,
“It all depends as to how far the governor is prepared to go. If he is prepared to take risk of a constitutional crisis in the event his recommendation to recall the House is turned down by the state cabinet, he can invoke powers vested in him under Constitutrion unilaterally but I don’t think, he will go that far.”
Some experts are of the opinion that if the state government and the speaker fail to convince the governor, a moderate option available to him would be recommending recalling the House to the cabinet and later the latter politely turning it down.
“It will be the same thing as a bill passed by the House is returned by the government without assent but next time, when it reaches him without change, he has to sign it,” said an expert.
The governor has the easiest option of signing the notification proroguing the House and set the contentious issue of adjournment of the House without disposing of the notrust motion to rest.