oppn parties President's Rule, Judiciary and the Congress Party

News Snippets

  • The Army conducts an operational alert exercise in eastern Ladakh
  • The IAF reopened the Vijaynagar advance landing ground, an airstrip in Arunachal Pradesh near the Chinese border
  • Amit Shah says he never sought to impose Hindi
  • Government bans the manufacture and sale of e-cigarettes in India
  • Mamata Banerjee seeks an appointment with Home Minister Amit Shah today
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee meets PM Modi in what she later described as a government-to-government meeting
  • Supreme Court sets a deadline of October 18 for completing the hearings in the Ayodhya case
  • Pakistan rejects India's request for use of its airspace when PM Modi flies to the US later this week
  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
oppn parties
President's Rule, Judiciary and the Congress Party

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Was the single bench of high court justified in ordering a floor test vis-a-vis the imposition of President’s rule in Uttarakhand? Noted constitutional expert Soli Sorabjee is of the opinion it was not. Sorabjee says that “it is incomprehensible how a floor test can be ordered when a presidential proclamation is in force and the assembly is in suspended animation.” Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi used the same words before a division bench of the high court to obtain a stay against the floor test.

That is the crux of the matter. While the Supreme Court has held that imposition of President’s rule is subject to judicial review, it is the actual imposition that can be challenged and the courts can decide if there actually was a failure of constitutional machinery in the state. The floor test can happen once the imposition is set aside. It is strange that the judge ordered a floor test without first ruling that the said imposition was bad in law. That is the legal position.

Politically, the Congress high command first erred in Arunachal and repeated the mistake in Uttarakhand. When a sizeable number of state MLA’s keep raising issues, a party like the Congress, which strictly follows the high command structure denying democracy to its state units, should step in to quell rebellion. Time and again, rebels from Congress ruled states complain that they do not get access to Rahul or Sonia. This state of affairs forces them to go against high command nominated CM’s.

The Congress has a long history of state leaders rebelling against rootless CM’s imposed by the high command in order to protect the “dynasty.” State leaders were often accommodated at the Centre or given plum party posts. But since it is no longer ruling in Delhi, that luxury is not available any more. There will be more rebellions and the Congress has to come up with solutions fast. With governments in states ruled by it reduced to a minority, blaming the BJP every time for engineering defections will not do. It has to set its own house in order.