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Governor Tripathi, Who Has Weathered Many a Political Storm

As speaker of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, Keshari Nath Tripathi had steered the Kalyan Singh government out of danger when fell short by just six votes in 1998.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:July 27, 2017, 7:14 PM IST
Governor Tripathi, Who Has Weathered Many a Political Storm
Bihar Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi with Nitish Kumar. (Image: PTI)
Lucknow: Bihar Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi by some strange quirk of fate is at the helm of affairs whenever there is a constitutional crisis.

West Bengal Governor was given additional charge of Bihar just a month back when Ram Nath Kovind was nominated by NDA as is President pick. He was to leave for Kolkata Wednesday afternoon when fast changing political developments in Patna kept him back.

In the next 12 hours, he not only accepted Nitish Kumar's resignation but also administered the oath of office the new JDU-BJP government.

The RJD was livid. Lalu Yadav's son and former deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav accused Tripathi of muzzling democracy.

Tejashwi wanted an opportunity to form the government being leader of the largest party in the Assembly, a claim which was not honoured.

Tripathi, the well-known criminal lawyer who practiced for many years at the Allahabad Hingh Court, is a known constitutional and electoral law expert.

It was during his tenure as speaker of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, that BJP engineered some defections in the BSP to survive the floor test.

On February 21, 1998, Kalyan Singh’s government lost majority in UP Assembly when a section of Loktantrik Congress — an ally of the BJP — withdrew support. Following this, the then governor, Romesh Bhandari, recommended President's Rule in the state, but the Centre refused to implement it.

This encouraged Singh who then proceeded to convince many legislators to back the government in return of Cabinet berths. This made the UP Cabinet at the time the largest in the history of the country with 93 ministers.

However, Bhandari refused to accept the support of BSP MLAs and dismissed the government overnight, making Jagdambika Pal of the Congress the new CM.

Following this development, Singh challenged Pal’s appointment in the High Court which declared Pal’s appointment invalid. The High Court also ordered Singh to prove his majority in the house by February 26th. In the following floor test in the 406-member assembly, Singh got 225 votes while Pal got 196. Later, the Supreme Court gave recognition to Singh’s government.

Singh proved the majority in the House as Tripathi allowed them rebel BSP MLAs to vote recognising them as Independents.
| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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