Debating India

INDE

Centre to use Article 356 sparingly

PTI

Thursday 28 August 2003

Article paru dans le Times of India, ?dition du jeudi 28 ao?t 2003.

SRINAGAR: Heralding a new chapter in Centre-state relations, the Union government on Thursday agreed to the pending demand of the states that its power to impose President’s rule should be used "sparingly" and as a "measure of last resort".

The two-day inter-state council meeting, presided over by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and attended by chief ministers or their representatives, while deciding to retain Article 356 of the Constitution reached a consensus that more safeguards be added to prevent its misuse.

The Prime Minister directed in his remarks at the meeting that Constitutional amendments to this effect be drafted and introduced in Parliament.

Giving details of the decisions at the meeting, the first to be held outside the national capital, Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani said the meeting "agreed not to repeal it (Article 356) but decided that safeguards should be provided and its misuse should be prevented."

On Article 355 that lays down the duty of the Centre to protect every state against "external aggression", and "internal disturbance", the council observed that in an emergency situation threatening the country’s security, prior consultations with the state government before deploying central forces would not be possible.

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