As the confusion over government formation in the state grew, President Ram Nath Kovind gave a go-ahead for the President’s Rule in Maharashtra.
President’s rule has been imposed in Maharashtra amidst confusion over government formation. President Ram Nath Kovind approved the Cabinet recommendation. Meanwhile, ShivSena has filed two petitions in the Supreme Court against the governor’s move of recommending President’s rule. It has demanded an immediate hearing in the matter. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal is representing ShivSena in the Supreme Court. The Home Ministry said- the Governor believes that no party is in a position to form the government even after 15 days of the results. In such a situation, imposing President’s rule is a better option.
It is for the third time that the state is witnessing Presidential rule. Here’s a look at what is Presidential rule and when it is imposed?
What is Presidential Rule?
Under Article 356 of the Constitution of India, in case that state government is unable to function according to constitutional provisions, the Central government can take direct control of the state machinery. The executive authority is exercised through the centrally appointed governor, who has the authority to appoint other administrators to assist them
When the elected members failed to form government in state the union stakes the holdover state i.e where President Rule imposed. When a state government is functioning correctly, it is run by an elected council of Ministers responsible for the state’s legislative assembly. The council is led by the chief minister, who is the de facto chief executive of the state; the Governor is only a de jure constitutional head. However, during the president’s rule, the Council of Ministers is dissolved, vacating the office of Chief Minister.
When the President’s Rule can be imposed?
- The state is unable to elect a chief minister within the time prescribed by the Governor of that state
- Coalition amongst the party fails
- No Majority vote
- Elections postponed for unavoidable reasons
- If the state is unable to comply with the constitutional norms
President’s rule can be revoked at any time by the president and does not need the Parliament’s approval. The rule can continue for 6 months or could extend for a maximum of 3 years with the approval of the Parliament done every 6 months. After 3 months reelection could take place.
Times Maharashtra faced President’ s Rule
Maharashtra has faced two times Presidental rule in 1980 and 2014 for 112 and 33 days respectively.
The Janata Party government that came to power in March 1977 dismissed the Congress state governments. A total of eight Congress governments were dismissed in just two days (April 29 and April 30, 1977) in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. When Indira Gandhi came back to power in 1980, she did the same with non-Congress state governments.
Nine states ruled by non-Congress parties were dismissed in Rajasthan, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The government was dismissed in spite of Sharad Pawar was enjoying the majority in the state. Sharad Pawar was then the CM of Maharashtra heading a coalition government called Progressive Democratic Alliance (PDA). President’s rule came to an end when AR Antulay took over as the CM. The imposition was for 112 days.
28th September 2014 when Prithviraj Chavan resigned following the break-up of a 15-year-old alliance of NCP-INC. It ended when Devendra Fadnavis took the oath of office as the CM.
In 2019, no party is able to form a majority to form the government. BJP being the highest with 105 seats is unable to form the government. ShivSena with 56 seats being the second-highest in the state but is adamant until they get the post of Chief Minister they don’t get along alliance as both fought election as an alliance. National Congress party with 54 seats and Congress with 44 seats.
President’s Rule in Maharashtra for the third time
Maharashtra Assembly with 288 seats where 145 is the number to form the government. No single party government could be formed as each lack of the given number. Until there is a coalition amongst the parties government formation is not possible.
BJP lacks the number and step back stating they cant form the government and wish ShivSena-NCP-INC to form a government. Governor invited ShivSena the second largest party asking them to form government in the next 24 hours which was impossible for Sena with Coalition with NCP-INC. Sena asked for more time which was denied by the Governor.
Further Governor asked Nationalist Congress party the third-largest after Sena giving them 24 hours again. NCP asks for two days which was again denied by Governor and before they could complete 24 hours given Governor pushed for President Rule in Maharashtra. Over which ShivSena knock Supreme court door complaining against Governor violating Article 14 (Equality before law). However, citing Article 356 of the constitution Governor recommended Presidential rule. The Ministry of home affairs got a nod from President Kovind after which President’s Rule has been imposed in the state.
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