Nothing is more shameful than the attempt of law makers to by-pass the provisions of Constitution. Earlier there were a tendency of political parties to appoint large number of ministers popularly called ‘Jumbo Ministry’, to accommodate everyone.In fact there was a Hindi movie titled ‘Aaj Ka MLA Ram Avatar’ (Today’s Member of Legislative Assembly). In that movie the Chief Minister appoints all the legislatures of his party and supporters as his Deputy Chief Ministers, as he had promised everyone in exchange of supporting him as Chief Minister. But all the Deputies had no Portfolios. He retained all the portfolios. A small clipping is here:
In real life example; in Manipur (a North Eastern State) there are 60 members in the State Legislature. It makes no sense to have 30 Ministers. 91st Constitution Amendment of 2003 placed an embargo on the number of Ministers. It is to be 15% of total strength of the house. This was reduced to 10% by 97th Amendment. Now Manipur having 60 members house can have only 6 Ministers. The problem is how to dole out the ministerial benefits. The ruling party has clear majority with 40 members. So it has no political compulsion but greed is always more persuasive than reason. It has devised a new way. A new designation of Political Secretary has been created, which in practice is nothing but minister with state rank, and these political secretaries shall work under the Cabinet Secretary. They will also get the same perks as Minister of State.
A cleverly devised plan to rob the exchequer and cheat the constitution. Who has to enforce the Constitution? I can not remember it. Is that something to do with the Government and its Ministers? I am not sure any more.
© Sandeep Bhalla