Friday 21 June 2024

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Politics | Toppling Games

Goa welcomes 9th Governor in 9 years

 

Arrives in the beautiful land of Goa yet another governor, Mohammed Fazal, not knowing how many more governments he has to install during his tenure, which is always much shorter than the elected state Assembly.

In fact during his tenure of only 19 months (little more than one and a half year), Lt Gen J F R Jacob installed four governments and experienced five chief ministers – Pratapsing Rane, Dr Wilfred de Souza, Luizinho Faleiro (twice) and Francisco Sardinha.

Besides this, he personally ruled the state for four months during the President's rule much more efficiently than any jumbo cabinet of the elected politicians. "Three persons are more than enough to run the administration here", says Lt Gen Jacob, who ruled the tiny tourist state with the help of two advisors.

He is now posted as the Punjab governor, a new challenge according to him. He would be sworn in there tomorrow. Fazal in the meanwhile was sworn in as the new governor here.

The infamous political instability of Goa, which witnessed 12 governments and two President's rules since 1990 when the defection games began, also affected the Cabo Raj Bhavan here. In the last nine years, Fazal is the ninth governor.

The longest term of little over three and a half years was enjoyed by Bhanu Prakash Singh, but not without political controversy. In fact he was recalled for installing Ravi Naik by dislodging Dr Wilfred de Souza in violation of the constitutional provisions.

Naik, who had earlier ruled for over two years but had to step down after the Supreme Court disqualified him, remained in power only for seven days after which Dr de Souza was sworn in by B Rachaiah, the then Karnataka governor who was given additional charge.

"He removed me because I did not go to play Holi with him", recalls Dr de Souza, whose misinterpreted derogatory statement against the governor had raked up controversy in the House. Naik, on the other hand, had earlier indicted Singh in arms controversy.

Khurshid Alam Khan however installed maximum number of four governments during his 32-month tenure, when the defection games had begun. Following collapse of Pratapsing Rane's Congress government within 75 days soon after 1990 polls, he installed Churchill Alemao to rule for 19 days, Dr Luis Proto Barbosa for eight months and Ravi Naik for over two years.

The Assembly was also kept under suspended animation during his tenure for a brief spell, by imposing the President's rule. He had however preferred to rule from the Raj Bhavan, unlike Lt Gen Jacob who had come down to the Secretariat.

While then Karnataka governor Rachaiah saw two chief ministers - Naik and de Souza - within two months, his successor Gopala Ramanujam had to also witness same number of rulers during his 10 months, besides installing Rane as the new CM after '94 elections.

Interestingly, Rane continued as the chief minister for three and a half years without any rebellion while the palacious Cabo Raj Bhavan witnessed three more governors –Romesh Bhandari for 13 months, Dr P C Alexander holding additional charge from Maharashtra for almost 18 months and T R Satishchandran for only three months. 


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