Bihar is once again under President’s rule. The Paswan ministry was the sixth to fall since the fourth general election.
After the fall of the first non-Congress UF government headed by Mahamaya Babu, a Shoshit ministry supported by Congress was formed under the leadership of Satish Singh for five days only – unique in the history of parliamentary democracy – just to bring Mandal in assembly from back door.
The fourth ministry came in power under the leadership of Bhola Paswan Shastri as a result of floor-crossing by some of the important Congressmen.
Later Shastri resigned on June 26, 1968 following differences with the Raja of Ramgarh. The President’s rule was imposed on June 29 which ended on February 25 this year after the mid-term poll.
But Bihar faced rather a tough situation as the election results were neither in favour of Congress nor the “like-minded non-Congress parties.”
Sardar Harihar Singh managed to form a coalition ministry of the Congress, the Swatantra, The Janata Party, the Shoshit Dal and the Jharkhand party.
But the coalition began to crack soon enough and 115-day old Government fell like a house of cards on June 20.
On June 20, just before the voting (on budget demands) all the six members of the Shoshit Dal, who were instrumental in bringing down the first UF government, and some members of the Hul Jharkhand and All Indian Jharkhand parties had defected and joined the Opposition.
Shastri (LTC) formed a SVD government, which was joined by the LTC, the All India Jharkhand, the Shoshit Dal (one group), the BKD (one group) and some Independents plus defectors.
The SSP, the PSP, the CPI and the Jana Sangh were supporting it while remaining outside.
The CPM was not supporting the government and declared it “an unprincipled alliance among the purely opportunistic parties.”
It was certain that Paswan ministry could not last long too. But no one was thinking for nine days. Now it is such a situation that no party is in a position to form a government.
The crisis in Bihar politics is more moral than political.
Excerpts from Enlite 26 July 1969