The office of the Governor is not merely a ceremonial post. Although many claim it to be a safe haven for retiring politicians, the constitutional scheme has loaded the office of the Governor with responsibilities. It serves as a crucial link between state and union governments. The rationale behind the Governor's role as a bridge connecting the union and state governments is rooted in our system of a holding-together democracy.
It is important to note that the Constitution mandates the union to protect states against external aggression and internal disturbances (Article 355). While the President commands all three forces in the case of external aggression, what happens when it comes to internal disturbance, which can occur in any part of the state? For this purpose, the Governor becomes a vital functionary, overseeing the state government's operations and reporting any activities not in the best interest of India and the state to the President. Hence, the Governor, empowered under Article 356 of the Indian Constitution, can send a report to the President if the state government fails to adhere to the Constitution's provisions. Such failure, in accordance with the constitution, can even encompass armed rebellion.
Although this provision has been misused numerous times, it is not the office of the Governor that is responsible for such misuse, but rather political intentions. The Indian Constitution empowers the Governor with legislative authority through ordinances, executive power to establish rules for the efficient conduct of state government business, and judicial powers to grant pardons.
Therefore, the notion that the Office of the Governor is merely ceremonial in nature holds no water. As a significant functionary under the constitution, the state government cannot function effectively without the Governor.
*Kalraj Mishra: A Man of Diverse Talents*
Mr. Kalraj Mishra, a towering figure in Uttar Pradesh politics, was sworn in as the Governor of Rajasthan on September 9, 2019, where he served successfully for four years. Born into a humble family, he rose to prominence, starting his political journey from grassroots politics. Prior to becoming Governor, he represented the Deoria parliamentary constituency and served as a Union Cabinet Minister from 2014 to 2017.
During his tenure as a Member of Parliament from Deoria, he brought about significant development in his constituency. He played a pivotal role in alleviating congestion in the city by championing the construction of a bypass road in Deoria. Additionally, he made substantial contributions to medical education by facilitating the opening of a Medical College in his constituency. He also oversaw the construction of a smooth road from Gorakhpur to Salempur through collaboration with the state government.
In support of Skill India, he took the lead in establishing a training center through NSIC, a PSU under the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Ministry. Furthermore, he organized a job fair that provided extensive employment opportunities for the youth in his constituency.
Despite being in his 70s while serving as a Member of Parliament, he maintained an impressive 95% attendance in Parliament and actively participated in discussions. As the Chairman of the Committee on Defence, he played a pivotal role in recommending all-weather connectivity for roads under the Border Roads Organisation (BRO). Such recommendations are of utmost importance as they directly impact national security. Moreover, under his leadership, the committee recommended the creation of an incentive package specific to BRO postings in border areas to attract talent and harness the potential of youth.
Mr. Kalraj Mishra's talents extend beyond politics; he is also a prolific author. In addition to his efficient role as a Member of Parliament (2014-2019) and his current role as Governor, where he efficiently coordinates between the union and state, he has authored books such as Judicial Accountability, Constitution, Culture & Nation, and Bharat mein Udyamita, showcasing his diverse knowledge and wisdom.
As Governor, he effectively managed political turbulence in Rajasthan in 2020. When many political experts anticipated a recommendation from him for President's rule, he used his coordination skills to bring stability to the state government by engaging with the Hon'ble Chief Minister of Rajasthan and dissatisfied MLAs.
Mr. Kalraj Mishra introduced himself as a humble and down-to-earth Governor. During his visit to Moti Dungri Temple, he defied VIP protocol, and when the Raj Bhavan was relocated to Mount Abu, he instructed his protocol team not to obstruct traffic, prioritizing the convenience of local residents and tourists.
His initiative of constitution parks received appreciation from the Hon'ble Prime Minister. He emphasizes that the constitution is supreme, reflecting his deep respect for this foundational document. It underscores the fact that the Office of Governor, as a creation of the constitution, cannot act on personal whims but must adhere to the rules and procedures that bind constitutional functionaries.
In conclusion, it is accurate to state that leaders like Mr. Kalraj Mishra, who have risen from humble beginnings and possess transformative personalities, inspire generations.
Author: Kishlaya Mishra, Advocate