Vajubhai Vala, Governor of Karnataka, is in the focus after Karnataka elections 2018 has resulted in a hung assembly. The Constitutional functionary has a distinguished career in the politics. Before becoming the Governor he was among the top BJP leaders in the state of Gujarat. As the ball now in his court, what decision he takes will decide the fate of the Karnataka politics.
Vala, who holds B.Sc. and LL.B degrees, had been a disciplined BJP man. He was appointed as the Governor of Karnataka in 2014 soon after the NDA stormed to power at the Centre. Before this, seven-time MLA Vala was serving as the Speaker of Gujarat Assembly. His name for the Gujarat Assembly speaker post was proposed by the then CM Narendra Modi.
When Modi became the Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001 replacing strongman Keshubhai Patel, Vala had vacated his Rajkot assembly seat to make a way for him to enter the House. The Constitution mandates that if a non-elected person is appointed as Chief Minister/minister, he/she must become the member of the legislature within six months of appointment.
Vala was among the top Cabinet ministers under CM Modi with the key ministry of Finance under his control from 2002 to 2012. He has the record of presenting highest number of budgets (18) as a finance minister.
Vala also held Labour and Employment, Urban Development and Housing Department portfolios during his long career in Gujarat. As the Revenue Minister, he had repealed the ‘Urban Land Ceiling Act’.
Starting his career with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) from his hometown Rajkot, Vala was among those who went to jail during the Emergency.
Vala also held the post of Mayor of Rajkot in 1983 and came to be known as ‘Paniwala Mayor,’ because of his successful efforts to bring water to the city. He made arrangements to bring water by train.
Vala was the President of Gujarat State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party from 1996 to 1998 and from 2005 to 2006.
It was because of the recommendations of the Vajubhai Vala Committee, the Gujarat government abolished Octroi in 2007.
Vala was awarded with the ‘Best Citizen Of India Award 2016’ by International Publishing House, New Delhi. He is the only person from Gujarat to get this award.
He was the Chairman of the Rajkot Nagarik Sahakari Bank on various terms starting from 1971.
As a mayor of Rajkot, in 1983 he moved a resolution in the corporation and the land for Doordarshan Kendra was sanctioned for free of cost.
Now it will depend on the Governor, what decision he takes according to the Constitutional requirements and Parliamentary conventions for government formation in Karnataka. With BJP claiming the first right to prove the majority, JD(S) and Congress are asserting that they have the numbers.
As per the recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission, which have been underlined and affirmed by the Supreme Court also, the governor of a state has the following options in case of a hung assembly.
– Can invite the pre-poll alliance of parties
– Can also invite single largest party which stakes a claim to form the government with other’s support
– Can also invite post-poll alliance of parties, with all the partners in the coalition joining the government
– Can also also invite a post-poll alliances of parties, with some becoming part of the government and some supporting from outside.