Congress Assaults on Democracy

India is the largest democracy in the world. There is need to uphold sanctity of the constitutional institutions and democratic tradition to preserve democratic structure and enable nation emerge stronger. There is responsibility on every Indian and especially on the political parties towards this end.

But the acts of one of the principal political party of the country have been contrary. Congress which has ruled the country for maximum number of years post independence has assaulted the democratic customs and traditions for selfish gain at the cost of nation.

The darkest day for the Indian democracy is the day when emergency was proclaimed by the Congress led Government in 1975 in an effort to remain in power after adverse court ruling against the then Congress Prime Minister.  The present generation need not go that far in history to know about the misdeeds of the Congress. They are continuing with their practice till date. Congress which was alone earlier has been joined by its allies for assault on democracy.  There are some recent incidents that clearly demonstrate Congress and allies violation of constitutional norms and democratic tradition for their selfish gains.

The Bihar assembly elections in Feb threw a hung assembly. Governor Buta Singh, a Congressman proclaimed emergency in March 2005 since no party or alliance was in a position to form the government and assembly was kept in suspended animation. The efforts to form a Government gained momentum in subsequent days with JD (U) clearly in the race and Lalu Prasad led RJD and Congress combine at a disadvantage. Congress led UPA government at the centre moved swiftly to dissolve the assembly based on a report by Governor Buta Singh to deny the parties led by JD (U) a chance to stake claim for Government. Congress led UPA Government didn’t wait for the President to return from an official visit of Russia and received the approval from the President, from Moscow after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke to him. The act of Central government thrust a new election, the cost of which was borne by the nation. The money which could have been utilized for development purpose was thus spent on serving the vested interest of Congress and its ally.

The centre decision was challenged in Supreme Court which came down heavily on Bihar Governor Buta Singh when it questioned the role of the Governor Buta Singh in giving a report that misled the Council of Ministers and led to dissolution of the Assembly.

Chief Justice YK Sabharwal, Justice BN Agarwal and Justice Ashok Bhan, who gave the majority verdict, said the dissolution of Bihar assembly even before it held its first session with newly elected legislators has been a destruction of democratic principles. The Governor enjoyed complete immunity and is not answerable in exercise of constitutional powers but Article 361 does not take away from the court's power to deal with the validity of his action when it is malafide and illegal in particular.

A similar effort to undermine the democratic norms and traditions by the Congress led UPA was observed in the formation of Jharkhand Government after the assembly elections in 2005. The principle of natural justice demanded that the NDA alliance which has won the highest number of seats should have been invited to form the government but instead Governor invited Shibu Soren of UPA for government formation which had won less number of seats under its belt. Till date there is no stable government in Jharkhand and as such recently President Rule was imposed in the state. The governance has taken a back seat and development is suffering due to the machinations by Congress and its allies.
Against the backdrop of these events we need to an informed decision when we go out to vote. A progressive and strong India needs strong commitment towards constitution norms leading to a stronger democracy.