Chhattisgarh on Karnataka formula! – Sudeep Thakur

There is no mention about the post of Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Chief Minister in the Indian Constitution. But these posts have a political message. The political message of making TS Baba the Deputy Chief Minister in the government headed by Bhupesh Baghel, just a few months before the assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, is also clear.

Articles 74 and 75 of the Indian Constitution deal with the constitution of the Council of Ministers. The post of Prime Minister has been considered as First Among Equal in the Westminster system of democratic governance that was adopted in the country after independence from the British rule. That is, all the ministers are equal and the Prime Minister is at the forefront of them. The same thing is about the Chief Ministers of the states. It is a different matter that in governments with a strong majority, whether at the Center or in the states, the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister are powerful and all ministers can continue in office as long as the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister have the confidence, not the President or the Governor. Are.

According to Article 74(1), ‘There shall be a Council of Ministers to aid and advise the President, with the Prime Minister as the head. Will do on the advice of the Prime Minister.

There is no mention of the post of Deputy Prime Minister anywhere in these two articles. Despite this, since the time of the country’s first government headed by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on August 15, 1947, the post of Deputy Prime Minister has been appointed. The country got its first Deputy Prime Minister in the form of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. It was a wise decision in the difficult circumstances of a newly formed country after partition, and despite their differences, Nehru and Patel performed their responsibilities while maintaining the balance of power.

After Patel, Morarji Desai was also the Deputy Prime Minister in Indira Gandhi’s government in 1967. In 1977, the Janata Party led by Morarji Desai had two Deputy Prime Ministers in the form of Charan Singh and Jagjivan Ram. After him, Yashwant Rao Chavan, Devilal and LK Advani have also been Deputy Prime Ministers.

It is known to everyone that except the first Deputy Prime Minister Patel, all the other Deputy Prime Ministers were made to deal with the political balance as well as the conflict of personal ambitions. As far as the post of Deputy Chief Minister in the states is concerned, there is no mention of it in Articles 163 and 164 of the Constitution related to the appointment of the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers. But till now dozens of deputy chief ministers have been appointed in different states.

At the same time, 11 states including Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal, Bihar, Haryana, Himachal, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Uttar Pradesh and now Chhattisgarh have working deputy chief ministers. The most interesting case is that of Andhra Pradesh, where Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy has Five Deputy Chief Ministers have been appointed for different areas of the country.

In coalition politics, the post of Deputy Chief Minister is not only proving helpful in maintaining the balance of power, it is also being used to appease the ambitions of leaders and caste identities even in a one-party government. Keshav Prasad Maurya and Brajesh Pathak, the two deputy chief ministers of the Yogi government in the largest state of Uttar Pradesh, represent two dominant caste groups, OBCs and Brahmins, and needless to say, their appointments have been made keeping this in mind.

Even though Devendra Fadnavis is the Deputy Chief Minister in the Shinde-BJP government of Maharashtra, he does not hesitate to publicly state that even though Eknath Shinde is sitting on the driving seat of the government, the steering is in his hands!

In the government led by Nitish Kumar in Bihar, his party Rashtriya Janata Dal is looking at Tejashwi Yadav as the Chief Minister in waiting. It is possible that Nitish Kumar, who is engaged in the campaign to unite the opposition parties, may leave the post for Tejashwi in the coming times. However, the case of Haryana is different, where the continuation of Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala in the Manoharlal-led BJP government is also necessary for the survival of his own party.

In a small state like Nagaland, the presence of two Deputy Chief Ministers in the BJP-NDPP government shows more of political balance than administrative ease.

The post of Deputy Chief Minister is now a tried and tested formula for the two major parties of the country, BJP and Congress. The Congress has recently won the assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka and has appointed Deputy Chief Ministers in both these places. Although the case of Karnataka is completely different from Himachal. Rather, Karnataka has become a new template for the Congress to help its Kshatriyas. The credit for this can be given to Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge as well as former Congress President Rahul Gandhi. This is the reason why Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar usually did not have a confrontational situation during the entire election in Karnataka. After the results came out, both had a claim on the post of Chief Minister, but eventually Shivkumar was satisfied with the post of Deputy Chief Minister.

But what could be the reason for trying this formula just a few months before the assembly elections in Chhattisgarh? In fact, unlike Sachin Pilot, TS Baba had never even tried to confront the Congress high command. Baba is known only as a gentle and soft-spoken leader in the politics of Chhattisgarh. The credit for the victory of the Congress in the last assembly elections goes to Bhupesh as well as Baba.

It is possible that after the victory in the last assembly elections, the alleged agreement of two and a half years between Bhupesh and Baba was talked about in front of Rahul Gandhi. There is no loss to the Congress by this. A big message of this decision taken regarding Chhattisgarh is that the Congress is not hesitating to take bold decisions.

In fact, by appointing TS Baba as the Deputy Chief Minister, the Congress has surprised not only the BJP, but also the ‘flower print’ Congressmen prevalent in Chhattisgarh!

Let us tell you that a famous book ‘Dus Saal, Jinse Desh Ki Siasat Badal Gayi’ by senior journalist Sudeep Thakur was published recently.

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