All India Congress Committee (AICC) Spokesperson Dr Sravan Dasoju on Tuesday strongly condemned Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao for not appointing a minimum number of ministers in his cabinet and described it as a violation of Constitution of India.
Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan, Sravan released a copy of an open letter which he wrote to Governor E S L Narasimhan seeking his immediate intervention into the absence of a full-fledged Council of Ministers as it had been five weeks after the Chief Minister had taken his oath.
"The Article 164 (1A) says that the total number of Ministers, including the Chief Minister, in the Council of Ministers in a State shall not exceed 15 percent of the total number of members of the Legislative Assembly of that State, provided that the number of Ministers, including the Chief Minister in a State shall not be less than twelve. However, violating the constitutional mandate, the present government as of now consists of only the Chief Minister and Home Minister," Sravan said.
Quoting Article 163 (1), he went on to add, "There shall be a Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister as the head to aid and advise the Governor in the exercise of his functions, except in so far as he is by or under this Constitution required to exercise his functions or any of them in his discretionâ€ť. Hence, in the absence of a full-fledged council of ministers, even the role of Governor has become deceased and defunct in Telangana, as there is none to aid and advice the Governor."
"There are 33 departments and 289 organisations in the government of Telangana and it is humanely impossible for one person to make decisions and monitor their execution. Without a minimum number of ministers, we are not only curtailing the functioning of the government, but also doing disservice to the people who participated in democratic elections and voted. How can such a small cabinet take any decision?" the senior Congress leader asked.
Sravan alleged that Telangana was now under 'zero-governance' due to a lack of cabinet ministers.
"To form the full-fledged cabinet is not only a constitutional mandate, but also a tradition and custom to be adhered to by any ruling government. We hear that there is a serious financial bankruptcy in the state of Telangana. There is a delay in payment of pensions, and many electoral promises made by ruling party are yet to be grounded. In the absence of the Finance Minister, who is gathering information to prepare the budget? There are already signs of drought in the state and what kind of proactive disaster management is being taken up? On the whole, there is no transparency and utter chaos in the government," he said.
Stating that there were more than 30 lakh unemployed youth in Telangana, the AICC Spokesperson added "There are many issues and many loose knots that need to be knitted by the ruling government and to do that, we need a full-fledged cabinet so that it collectively shares the authority and accountability."
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) had swept the polls held on December 7, winning 88 out of the 119-seat Assembly in the state. The Congress bagged 19 seats.