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Press Releases

Highlights of the press briefing of Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, MP 14-03-201


Dr. Singhvi said the BJP deserves kudos and congratulations for its win in two States. Equally it deserves condemnation for its clear loss in two of the three other States for how it tried to subvert the peoples' mandate. Thank God - they did not try it in Punjab but of the three States it lost, it tried to subvert in two of the three. In Goa, a party which won 13 seats Vs. 17 of Congress where its Chief Minister loses and 6 of his Cabinet Ministers, apart from many others lose. How is it possible for the Governor to appoint a CM – I repeat – appoint a CM – by 8.30-9.00 pm (Saturday) on 12th March within 24 hours of the results and to notify it by 11.00 pm by a Press Release I am appointing … and along with their appointment giving that dispensation 15 long days to prove its majority on the floor of the House – 15 days. Today 50% of that Governor's order has been interfered with by the Hon'ble Supreme Court. In a petition drafted on 13th March which is a Holiday in Court, the Hon'ble Supreme Court admitted and listed it yesterday for today, heard for almost two hours arguments – hotly opposed and clearly said that the Floor Test must be no later than tomorrow but because of EC logistics, it was put day after ultimately. A party which claimed a 21 majority repeatedly asked for 15 days for a Floor Test otherwise at least next week Floor Test, otherwise at least Friday. The Court said No tomorrow, if not tomorrow – day after. It is, of course, that a person who believes that 21 in his pocket is asking for so much of time for the Floor Test. Yes, the swearing in has not been stayed but if the BJP wants to swear in a Chief Minister for two days, Good Luck to them, it is up to them.

According to us, after two days, the sworn in Chief Minister has no hope of continuing because he will lose the Floor Test and equally if he succeeds in the Floor Test, then he continues. So, the Court has significantly interfered by giving democracy a live chance on a live Floor Test.

However, a wrong remains a wrong irrespective of electoral numbers, irrespective of everything else.

(a)  The satisfaction which a Governor is required to have – the Constitutional Satisfaction- which the Governor is required to make under our Article 163 – I am asking you and myself – how does the Governor arrive at the Constitutional Satisfaction without even telephoning Congressm, calling or sitting or consulting us. It is not about calling me to form the Government, it is about constitutionally satisfying herself that (a) or (b) is the best person to form the Government. How do you conclude a satisfaction without even talking to me on telephone, consulting me, talking to me, meeting me, calling me not to form the Government to arrive at a Satisfaction? How do you examine the facts as that Satisfaction is illusory? It is not existent.

(b) Results came in late evening of 11th March. In 24 hours, we elected our CLP Leader by 7-7.30 pm on 12th March. 24 hours is not a long time for Constitutional Government formation. It is a serious process, we are talking of Constitutional Government formation. What is the unholy, unearthly haste that the Governor - we elect a CLP Leader by 7-7.30 in the evening, the Governor has already met Mr. Parrikar around the same time i.e. 7.30 – 9.00 pm and by 11.00 pm a Press Release is issued. So, all these media reports deliberately being leaked and planted are false by the people who are planting them. How do you make a claim to form the Government even before you make your CLP Leader? Your CLP Leader is made within 24 hours that is a Congress one – within 24 hours; they have already invited Mr. Parrikar. They did not give a chance to the Congress Leader to stake a claim. So there is no delay by the Congress. This is a canard being deliberately mischievously spread by the BJP and through the BJP.

(c)  We send a letter after the Press Release that we have learnt from media reports and your Press Release from the Press, we do not know from you that you have appointed Mr. Parrikar. On 12th March night itself, we sent a letter. The letter says (a) we are able to form the Government (b) we are in majority. What the BJP is representing is false. These two things, we are saying clearly.

(d)  The Sarkaria Commission – the Punchhi Commission – both recognize and copiously quoted in Rameshwar Constitution Bench judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court that clearly says that for the process to work itself out whatever be the result – the sequence must be to at least call the single largest - I am going further – calling it secondary, to form your satisfaction, your decision, your mind, your application of mind, your opinion, you have to at least talk to the single largest. How is it possible that in a democracy, within so many Sarkaria Commissions and others, you do not even call somebody in terms of talking to somebody? So how do you know? That is the crux of the matter.

Turn and zoom and switch to Manipur – BJP is specializing in these tactics. We are 28, BJP is 21. Let us be clear of facts – Congress 28, BJP 21. Now I want to highlight a few very startling facts you may not know about it –

(i)    You have invited the BJP by a Press Conference of the Governor on 13th March afternoon. On 13th March afternoon, the BJP had not elected its Leader. She declared that she is satisfied that the BJP+ will form the Government but by that time, the Leader of the Legislature has not been elected.

(ii) Secondly, it is common knowledge that the Leader of the BJP or the combination was elected yesterday. The Governor's Press Conference was in the afternoon. Here is a delightful twist – in Goa, the Governor says that you delayed coming because you had no one elected as Leader. So, I did not call you. You delayed the election of Leader. In Manipur the Governor announces the BJP even before the BJP Leader is elected.  I hope I am clear, I hope you are understanding somewhat technical points, but these are very important points.

(iii) Mr. Ashbuddin I can understand he is put under the pressure but to  have physically isolated him is clearly one MLA who has been under coercion for last two days and Yes almost so confessed. Now an interesting point – Congress Party wrote on 12th March itself that we are 28 and they attached a letter of the President of NPP Mr. Kipgn. NPP has four. On 12th March, the Congress writes with the letter of Mr. Kipgen President of NPP that 28 + 4 is 32. Midway mark is 31 as you know. No response – nothing. On 13th the Governor has a Press Conference in the afternoon announces the BJP and the BJP elects the Leader in evening. Under the Rules, it is the Party President who alone is authorized in any Party. Suppose I have to stake a claim, my Congress Party President at state level PCC will write. The person who attaches the letter is the President of the NPP. BJP is relying on some other Legislature's letter of the same NPP. Now, how can both be true? We attach a letter of the President of the Party. One Ashbuddin – and one is a Congress MLA whose name they have put in 32. So, four +1 +1 is how much – 6. If you minus 6, BJP's 32 becomes 26. Out of the BJP's 32 on which the Governor had a PC yesterday, one is a Congress MLA, one is Mr. Ashbuddin who is clearly under coercion and four are the NPP whose President wrote a letter along with Congress on 12th March itself. Now you add these 6 to us – 28 minus 6 is how much?  So, here you have 28+6 = 34, there you have 32-6 = 26 - equation is 34 and 26.

Unfortunately BJP is now becoming an expert in creating Governments through Governors whereas Government creation is the work of the people who vote. Government creation is neither for the Governor nor for the Party to whom the Governor earlier belongs and still appears to be acting for. Therefore, this is a clear attempt to nullify peoples' mandate. I want to remind that peoples' mandate has been held to be an intrinsic part of democracy and democracy has been held to be intrinsic part of basic structure. Basic structure even the Parliament of India, by a Constitutional Amendment cannot alter. But BJP is managing it successfully in State after State through Governor and through a complete whole scale violation, complete jettisoning of all constitutional principles.
All I would say in conclusion is that repeatedly the BJP should not exult or triumph on fate-accomplis. You are dancing on the corpes of democracy because you are pointing the fingers which you have unfairly and illegally manipulated in State after State. These false, bad and wrong precedents come home to roost. You will have no answer. You will have nowhere to hide but what will happen is that Indian democracy will be diminished.

 डॉ. अभिषेक मनु सिंघवी ने पत्रकारों को संबोधित करते हुए  भारतीय जनता पार्टी को बधाई दी, दो प्रदेशों में बहुमत के लिए। उतने ही जोर से और प्रभाव से मैं उनकी भर्त्सना करना चाहता हूं कि बाकि 3 प्रदेशों में जहाँ वो हारे उनमें से दो में उनका असंवैधानिक, गैर-कनूनी और अनैतिक तरीकों से सरकार कायम करने का प्रयत्न पिछले 3 दिन से लगातार जारी है। गोवा में सर्वविदित है कि उनके मुख्यमंत्री जो पहले थे वो  भी हारे और 6 कैबिनेट मंत्री हारे, जाहिर है जनादेश कहाँ था? इसके बावजूद राज्यपाल ने एक व्यक्ति को, मैं उस व्यक्ति के खिलाफ कुछ नहीं कहना चाहता हूं, पार्रिकर जी सम्मानित व्यक्ति हैं, मैं उनकी बात नहीं कर रहा हूं। राज्यपाल कैसे उनका नाम लेकर उनको घोषित कर सकते थे मुख्यमंत्री, ये मैं अपने आप से पूछ रहा हूं, आपके जरिए पूछ रहा हूं देश से। वो अगर कर भी सकती थी तो बिना हमें बताए, टेलिफोन किए, हमसे वार्तालाप किए बिना कैसे कर सकती थी? ये हमारा मूल मुद्दा है।

 ये मूल मुद्दा ये नहीं है कि पहले सबसे बड़ी पार्टी को क्यों नहीं बुलाया सरकार बनाने के लिए। ये पहला मुद्दा है कि राज्यपाल को संवैधानिक संतोष करना पड़ता है अनुच्छेद 163 के अंतर्गत। तो मैं जानना चाहूंगा कि ये कौन सा जादुई संतोष है, ये संतोष संवैधानिक कैसे बन सकता है? अगर नंबर 2 पार्टी जाकर कहती है कि मेरे पास बहुमत है मुझे बनाईए। ये भी मैं मान लूं अपने विरुद्ध राज्यपाल की हैसियत से तो क्या राज्यपाल उस प्रथम दृश्य को परिवर्तित करने के लिए हमें एक बार बुलाएगा भी नहीं, वार्तालाप नहीं करेगा, इस पर हमने संवैधानिक प्रश्न उठाया है।

 जाहिर है यहाँ पर 24 घंटे के अंदर चुनाव के परिणाम आए 11 तारीख को, रात को। 7:30 बजे 12 तारीख को हमारे सीएलपी लीडर घोषित हुए, चुनावित हुए और 8:30 बजे के आस-पास बीजेपी और मनोहर पार्रिकर जी मिले राज्यपाल से और वो मान गई और 11 बजे प्रैस रिलीज द्वारा उनको घोषित कर दिया। तो ये बरगलाने वाली बात फैलाई जा रही है। जब कांग्रेस ने 24 घंटे के अंदर अपना सीएलपी लीडर नियुक्त किया, वो राज्यपाल से मांग करे, उससे पहले राज्यपाल ने घोषित कर दिया पार्रिकर जी को। राज्यपाल ये भी कह सकती थी कि मेरे पास एक अनुरोध आया है पार्रिकर जी का, मैं प्रथम दृष्टि से संतुष्ट हूं, लेकिन मैंने कांग्रेस से पूछा तक नहीं है, उससे पूछ तो लूं। ये मूल मुद्दा है।

 आज उच्चत्तम न्यायालय ने लगभग न्यूनतम रुप से 50 प्रतिशत राज्यपाल के निर्णय में हस्तक्षेप किया है, बहुत कम समय में किया है। कल छुट्टी के दिन याचिका तैयार हुई, उच्चत्तम न्यायालय में शाम को पेश हुए, उसके निरीक्षण में एक खंडपीठ बैठी, दो घंटे बहस चली और उस निर्णय के 50 प्रतिशत महत्वपूर्ण हिस्से में हस्तक्षेप किया यानि कि गवर्नर ने 15 दिन दिए इनको सरकार बनाने के लिए, दल-बदली करने के लिए। हम कहते हैं कि आप कल कीजिए फ्लोर टेस्ट। जिन लोगों ने 21 पर हक जताया था उन्होंने कहा था, हम चाहते हैं 15 दिन या कम से कम अगले हफ्ते। उसके बाद सरकार की तरफ से कहा- सोमवार। फिर श्री साल्वे ने मांगा- शुक्रवार। कोर्ट ने कहा नहीं कल और अंत में चुनाव आयोग के कारण परसों मानें। तो ये एक सही, न्यायपूर्वक और महत्वपूर्ण हस्तक्षेप है। नंबर दो अगर माननीय बीजेपी और पार्रिकर साहब दो दिन के लिए मुख्यमंत्री बनना चाहते हैं तो उनका स्वागत है। मैं तो समझता हूं कि हमें तो पूरा यकीन है कि हम जीतेंगे और अगर हम नहीं जीते तो वो दिन के लिए बन सकते हैं मुख्यमंत्री। तो ये जल्दबाजी क्या है, दो दिन के मुख्यमंत्री बनने के लिए।


 ये कुछ बिंदु हैं-

1.       राज्यपाल को संवैधानिक संतोष कैसे है, अगर आपने हमसे बात नहीं की हो, वार्तालाप नहीं की हो।

2.       24 घंटे भी नहीं बीते और बिना सीएलपी लीडर को बुलाए घोषणा नहीं कर सकती कि पार्रिकर साहब मुख्यमंत्री हैं।

3.       आपने हमारे पत्र का, जो आपके प्रेस नोट के बाद हमने लिखा, जिसमें हमने कहा कि हमारे बास बहुमत है, दूसरा जो बीजेपी आपको रिप्रेजेंट कर रही है वो झूठ है, उस पर कोई ध्यान नहीं दिया।

4.       सरकारिया आयोग में, पुंछी आयोग में और संवैधानिक खंडपीठ 5 जजों की, रामेश्वर केस में बड़ा स्पष्ट लिखा है कि इन मामलों में कोई भी परिणाम हो इसका एक सिक्वेंस होता है, जो अति-आवश्यक है, जो संवैधानिक होता है। पहले आप सिंगल लार्जेस्ट से बात कीजिए और उसके बाद दूसरे से बात कीजिए। लेकिन मैं तो और विरुद्ध जाता हूं कि अगर आपने नंबर दो से बात की जो गलत था, लेकिन कम से कम से कम सिंगल लार्जेस्ट से बात तो कीजिए, आपने वो भी नहीं किया।

 दूसरी तरफ मणिपुर में जहाँ ये पार्टी स्पेशलिस्ट हो गई है, जनादेश को नगण्य करने में। हम 28 वो 21, 13 तारीख को दोपहर को यानि कल दोपहर को राज्यपाल प्रेस कॉन्फ्रेस में घोषणा कर देती हैं कि मैं संतुष्ट हूं कि बीजेपी सरकार बनाएगी और कल शाम को बीजेपी के लीडर चुनावित होते हैं। ये कौन सा संविधान है, कौन से रीति-रिवाज होते हैं? दोपहर की प्रेस कॉन्फ्रेस में राज्यपाल ने घोषणा की और रात को बीजेपी के लीडर चुनावित होते हैं।

 ये बड़ा रोचक है। बीजेपी कम से कम अपने राज्यपालों को तो स्थिर रखें। सब उनको मदद जरुर कर रहे हैं लेकिन स्थिर तो रहें। गोवा में राज्यपाल कहते हैं कि कांग्रेस ने अपना सीएलपी लीडर देर से चुनावित किया इसलिए मैंने आपको बुलाया नहीं। हमें नहीं बुलाया गोवा में क्योंकि हमारा चुनावित नहीं था। शाम को 7:30 बजे तक सीएलपी लीडर 12 तारीख को और यहाँ मणिपुर में कल राज्यपाल ने घोषणा कर दी मुख्यमंत्री और आपका लीडर चुनावित हुआ शाम को, 13 तारीख को। ये दोहरे मापदंड हैं या कैसे मापदंड हैं?

अब गणित देख लीजिए। NPP एक पार्टी है उसके 4 सदस्य हैं, उनके अध्यक्ष किपगन के लैटर को हमने कांग्रेस के पत्र के साथ जोड़कर कहा कि हमारे 28 हैं इनके 4 हैं। NPP अध्यक्ष का पत्र हमने संलग्न किया, 12 तारीख को राज्यपाल को। अगर उस 4 को ही गिनें तो 28 और 4, 32 होते हैं। मेरे हिसाब से उनमें 2 को और जोड़ना चाहिए। एक अशबुद्दिन, जिनको बड़े अनैतिक रुप से पकड़ कर रखा, प्रभाव में रखा। दूसरा एक कांग्रेस के एमएलए का नाम ड़ाल दिया बीजेपी के 32 लिस्ट में। तो 4 +1+1= 6 हुए। अब उनके 32 में से 6 कम कर दीजिए 26 होते हैं। NPP 4, एक हमारे एमएलए जिनका नाम डाला है और एक Independent, 5 कर लीजिए, 4 कर लीजिए। 32 कैसे बनेंगे। हमारे में 6 जोड़ दीजिए, 28 और 6, 34 होते हैं।

 राज्यपाल ने एक और बहुत बड़ी गलती की है। राज्यपाल ने एक नया टेस्ट शुरु किया कि पहले आप इस्तीफा दीजिए उसके बाद मैं आपके पत्र को या आपके दावे को देखूंगी। राज्यपाल का काम है ये देखना कि सबसे ज्यादा एमएलए किस पार्टी को समर्थन कर रहे हैं। ये किसी संविधान में नहीं लिखा है कि जबतक मैं मुख्यमंत्री के रुप से अपना इस्तीफा देता हूं या नहीं, मैं पुराने बाहर जाने वाला मुख्यमंत्री हूं, कार्यकारिणी मुख्यमंत्री हूं, मैंने इस्तीफा दिया हो या नहीं दिया हो, उसका संबंध और सम्पर्क नहीं है, उसके लिए राज्यपाल को संवैधानिक संतोष करना पड़ता है कि आपके पास 31 हैं या मेरे पास 31 हैं। ये एक नया पैंतरा डाला गया है बीच में कि पहले आप इस्तीफा दें, फिर मैं आपसे बात करुंगी। ये गैर-कानूनी है, गलत है, असंवैधानिक हैं, कहीं लिखा नहीं है। हाँ अगर आपको ज्यादा समय देना है लोगों की मदद करने के लिए, पक्षपात करने के लिए, तो आप जरुर करेंगे।

On the question that BJP alleges these examples were set in the past, Dr. Singhvi said somebody citing Mr. KR Narayanan, somebody citing Mr. SD Sharma - simple answer which everybody is forgetting but whether KR Naryanan or SD Sharma - all of them are prior to the adoption of the Sarkaria Commission and the Punchhi Commission in the Hon'ble Supreme Court judgment of Rameshwar from Bihar which is much later and which is in Para 64 and 65 adopts the sequence of the single largest party being mandatorily obliged to consult. Mr. Naidu had not read. So Mr. Naidu should go and read the judgment in Para 64 and 65 of Rameshwar and then speak about the subject. He is speaking completely in the abstract. These are precedents which are purportedly cited, which is ages and years old well before the Hon'ble Supreme Court laid down the law.

Dr Singhvi said we are having all our options open. Let them keep on making mistakes and let us keep on deciding our strategy in the light of that mistake.

On the question that in UP, BJP has not yet announced its Leader, Dr. Singhvi said I would like you to decide before this House what a great constitutional precedent is set that a CLP leader is elected in 24 hours and in the same 24 hours, without even telephoning the CLP Leader, you ask the Party Number 2 and name the Chief Minister. Now if 24 hours in Government formation is a long time, please lay down the rule. If it is good for democracy, I am very happy, we will also apply sometime.

Secondly factual wrong – 8.30 or so Mr. Parrikar and Group meet the Governor, it is all decided, she issues Press Release at 11 pm. We write a letter and we are hearing from the Press. Why can't she ask us on 13th March morning? Who has told you that there is a limit of 24 hours? Who has told you that heavens are falling in 24 hours. What was the need for the Government to decide it at 11 on Saturday, give me one good reason why the Governors of UP and Uttarakhand or the Prabharis of BJP or Uttarakhand and UP have today on the 5th day not thought it fit for the Governor to ask anybody. Therefore, Constitutional principle should not change whether I am in power or you are in power.

Suppose I did nothing– the Constitutional obligation of the Governor is to see that this is the single largest, they have announced a CLP Leader in 24 hours, I will talk to him on telephone, do you have a chance to form the Government, and she will not do that.

Now, thirdly, constitutionally also you are wrong. This is factual. Factually a claim is made within 24 hours as soon as the CLP is elected and 24 hours is not a long time for constitutional Government formation but you are wrong – why- the issue is not when I stake a claim – the issue is that the constitutional obligation of the Governor is a constitutional preordained obligation of the Governor. Swearing in has no constitutional effect. The swearing in will be nullified by a Floor test in 48 hours - which is superior – the Floor test or the swearing in. Swearing in can be cancelled by ten people ten times, it can be rescheduled. How do you put swearing in on higher pedestal than the obligation to prove your majority day after tomorrow and day after tomorrow if you do not prove your majority, you will be the laughing stock in insisting on swearing in today. 

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