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Thursday, November 26, 2020

Government vs Governor in Chhattisgarh: A short history

Chhattisgarh Governor Anusuiya Uikey's refusal to allow a session of the Assembly has triggered the latest in a series of showdowns with the Congress government of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.

Written by Gargi Verma , Edited by Explained Desk | Raipur | Updated: October 22, 2020 1:08:58 pm
chhattisgarh congress government, chhattisgarh governor Anusuiya Uikey, bhupesh baghel chhattisgarh, indian express explainedChief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Chhattisgarh Governor Anusuiya Uikey.

Chhattisgarh Governor Anusuiya Uikey on Tuesday (October 20) returned a file from the government seeking permission to convene a special session of the Assembly. This provoked a sharp reaction from Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.

Uikey, a BJP Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh until 2012, was appointed Governor in July 2019, seven months after Baghel was sworn in as Chief Minister on December 17, 2018, following a landslide victory in the Assembly elections.

The latest incident comes after several earlier confrontations between the government and the Governor on political and administrative issues over the last seven months. 📣 Click to follow Express Explained on Telegram

Appointment of VCs

The disagreement between the government and the Governor started in March 2020 over the appointment of Baldev Sharma, a staunch RSS man, an editor of RSS mouthpiece Panchjanya, and biographer of former RSS sarsanghchalak K S Sudarashan, as Vice Chancellor of Kushabhau Thakre University of Journalism and Mass Communication (KTUJM), Raipur.

The Governor also reinstated the pro-BJP Vice Chancellor of the Bilaspur-based Pandit Sundarlal Sharma Open University, Vans Gopal Singh.

The government tried to change the bylaws of appointment to reduce the role of the Governor; however, the Bill is pending with the Governor herself.

Fifth Schedule area

The Governor in September expressed her displeasure over the government’s decision to redesignate Marwahi in the new district of Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi from a gram panchayat to a nagar panchayat, including the three gram panchayats of Marwahi, Kumhari, and Lohari.

Saying that the area was part of the areas notified under the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution, the Governor called a meeting with senior officials of the government on September 29 and asked if they had made the government aware of the “proper procedure”, which was to go through Raj Bhavan.

Critical of crime in state

The Governor has been vocal against the government on several occasions, and has heard petitions from opposition parties like the BJP and the Janta Congress Chhattisgarh, against decisions taken by the government.

She intervened recently in the attack on a Kanker-based journalist, and also called for a meeting with the state machinery over the increase in crime, which was put off after the Home Minister allegedly quarantined himself before the meeting.

While Home Minister Tamradhwaj Sahu has maintained that he had come in contact with a Covid-19 positive individual, several political observers claim that he had met other Ministers the day after the scheduled meeting.

Officials in Raj Bhavan

Governor Uikey had written a letter to CM Baghel over the changing and transfer of IAS officers attached to the Raj Bhavan last week.

The letter seeking a full-time panel of IAS officials for the Raj Bhavan was full of iterations reminding the government that her position is to be respected in the state, and that changes should not be made by the government without informing her or taking her feedback.

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