It has been often argued that the Governor usually acts more as ‘an agent of the centre’ than as constitutional head of state. Critically analyse.

The governor is the de jure executive head of the state and plays central role in maintaining healthy centre-state relationship.

Constitutional position:

  1. Article 163 – governor is appointed by the President and holds office during his pleasure.
  2. Apart from constitutional discretion, he has been bestowed with individual discretion in recognition of his role as centre’s representative to state.
  • Reserve bill for presidential assent.
  • Recommend imposition of emergency in state.

Thus, Governor is not merely a constitutional head of state but also centre’s nominee to state to ensure:           

  • Coordination between centre and state.
  • Ensure state runs according to the constitution.

Unfortunately, few incidents have raised concern over the partisan nature of the post:

  • Refusal to call for vote of trust (to prevent state government from proving majority).
  • Recommending state emergency, without due reasons.

Reasons for such accusations:

  • Political appointee.
  • No security of tenure.
  • Representative of central government.
  • No independent functioning.

To check such misuse, Sarkaria Committee recommendations must be paid heed to:

  • Governor must not be active in politics in that state for atleast 5 years.
  • His term must not normally interfere with state’s elections.
  • Must be a man of integrity and character.
  • Practice of conferring chancellorship can be discontinued.

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