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Imbroglio over Appropriation Bill in Andhra Pradesh a blow to polity

Imbroglio over Appropriation Bill in Andhra Pradesh a blow to polityImbroglio over Appropriation Bill in Andhra Pradesh a blow to polity
Highlights

The Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, while commenting on the performance of duties, had once said, The true source of right is duty

The Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, while commenting on the performance of duties, had once said, "The true source of right is a duty. If we all discharge our duties, rights will not be far to seek. If leaving duties unperformed, we run after rights, they will escape us like will­o'-the­wisp, the more we pursue them, the farther they will fly."

The imbroglio in the AP Legislative Council over the passing of the Appropriation Bill leading to sine die adjournment without even introduction of the Bill comes as a body blow to our polity. Does any government or its Opposition, for that matter, have a right to stretch its political agenda to such an extent that it buries its duty towards the citizens fathoms deep? The primary duty of the two was to get the Appropriation Bill passed to allow the government to draw money for its expenditure. Political agendas are different from the duties and responsibilities of the elected representatives. In fact, the elected representatives of people have to first fulfil their duties and obligations as good citizens of the country.

A responsible citizen abides by all the law and order of the country. Why did the YSRCP and the TDP members of the honourable House deem it fit to do what they have done? Do they expect the citizens to correct their ways? But the citizens can only do so during the elections when they can throw someone out of power for wrongdoings. So, who is to inspire compliance of the law and the oath taken by the elected representatives in the Assemblies and Councils? Although in the context of Directive Principles (which are essentially duties owed by the State towards its citizens), the Supreme Court in Minerva Mills Ltd & Ors. v. Union of India, the Supreme Court recognised this proposition ­ "There may be a rule which imposes an obligation on an individual or authority and yet it may not be enforceable in a court of law and therefore not give rise to a 21 corresponding enforceable right in another person. But it would still be a legal rule because it prescribes a norm of conduct to be followed by such an individual or authority. The law may provide a mechanism for enforcement of this obligation, but the existence of the obligation does not depend upon the creation of such a mechanism.

The obligation exists prior to and independent of the mechanism of enforcement. A rule imposing an obligation or duty would not therefore cease to be a rule of law because there is no regular judicial or quasi-judicial machinery to enforce its command. Such a rule would exist despite any problem relating to its enforcement. Otherwise, the conventions of the Constitution and even rules of International law would no longer be liable to be regarded as rules of law." It is not that the leaders do not know of this. "I will work as 'Coolie No.1' to rebuild the State into a Swarna (golden) Andhra Pradesh, a sunrise State and a knowledge hub. I will strive to make Andhra Pradesh the No.1 State in the country with your participation and co-operation," Mr Chandrababu Naidu told the sea of supporters during his oath-taking as the Chief Minister, in 2014. Similarly, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said, "As a Chief Minister, I give you one assurance — I am here to listen to you and realise your dreams, This is a historic win which will be written in golden letters in the annals of the State. God has scripted this history. It proves that He shall not forgive those who indulged in irregularities and corruption.

The TDP paid penalty for its misdeeds," Petty politics do not usher in 'Swarnandhra Pradesh" nor do they pave the way to "realize people's dreams". Emerson rightly said, "What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say."

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