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Government misinterpreting Constitution: Advani

Manas Dasgupta

Monday 5 July 2004, by DASGUPTA*Manas

GANDHINAGAR, JULY 4. The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, L. K. Advani, today warned the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government of "serious consequences" for the way it had dismissed the Governors in four States.

Replying to felicitations from Bharatiya Janata Party workers on his first visit to his home constituency since winning the elections, Mr. Advani said the UPA was "misinterpreting" the Constitution. While Article 156 of the Constitution said that the Governors functioned at the "pleasure" of the President, Article 156 (3) made it clear that the Governors were appointed for a term of five years.

He said that the President may have been misled by some Union Ministers. He did not say what "consequences" the Congress-led Government might have to face but hinted that the Budget session of Parliament could be as stormy as the one last month, disrupted on the issue of "tainted" Ministers.

Mr. Advani said the "first impression" of the UPA Government was "not very good." After inducting "tainted" Ministers, which he described as the "criminalisation of the Government," it had now taken the controversial decision of dismissing four Governors.

He also expressed concern over the change of stress in the talks with Pakistan. While the National Democratic Alliance Government did not proceed till terrorism was considered an "issue" by Pakistan, with the change of Government the stress was more on the United Nations’ Charter and the Shimla Agreement. Describing it as "party-based politics," Mr. Advani hoped that the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, would address the country’s concerns over the issue.

He also wanted Dr. Singh to look into a point raised by the Gujarat Chief minister, Narendra Modi, in a recent letter. Mr. Modi had pointed out that a map in circulation in Pakistan showed Junagadh district and the erstwhile Manavadar estate, in Gujarat’s Saurashtra region, as part of Pakistan.About the NDA’s defeat in the Parliamentary elections, Mr. Advani said, "something was lacking in our performance" in the last six years.

See online : The Hindu


in The Hindu, Monday, July 05, 2004.

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