Editorial with Sujit Nair: Punjab Governor warns CM of President’s rule

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In this editorial episode, Mr. Sujit Nair discusses the recurring clashes that occur between Governors and Chief Ministers of different states. The current conflict has arisen between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab and the state’s Governor, Banwarilal Purohit. The Governor has issued a stern warning to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, hinting at the possibility of recommending the imposition of President’s rule in Punjab due to Mann’s lack of response to official communications. Governor Purohit has cautioned Mr. Mann that he may propose President’s rule and initiate legal proceedings if Mann continues to ignore his letters. Typically, central government rule is established in a state through Article 356, usually after a Governor submits a report. In his letters, the Punjab Governor has expressed concerns about drug trafficking in the state, particularly near the border, and has sought information about the actions taken by Mann’s government. The Governor’s letters refer to reports from various agencies indicating the widespread availability and use of narcotics, with allegations that they can even be obtained from pharmacies and government-regulated liquor stores. Additionally, the Governor cited a recent report by a parliamentary standing committee, which revealed that one in five people in Punjab is addicted to drugs. In his latest communication to Mann, Governor Purohit conveyed his frustration at the lack of response to his previous letters and cautioned that he may submit a report to the President highlighting the “”failure of constitutional mechanisms.”” Purohit advised Mann to take corrective action before he makes a “”final decision”” under Article 356 of the Constitution and Section 124 of the Indian Penal Code. Article 356 allows for the imposition of direct central rule in a state, typically following a Governor’s report. Section 124 of the IPC pertains to offenses related to the assault or wrongful restraint of the President or a Governor in the exercise of their lawful powers.

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