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

News Snippets

  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
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.