Facing opposition onslaught over imposition of President’s rule in Uttarakhand, the Modi government has decided to take rivals head-on, citing instances of states being placed under central rule when Congress, Janata Party and United Front were in power.
As Parliament’s Budget session resumes on Monday amid a strong possibility of a stormy start, with the opposition parties accusing the NDA government of “assaulting” the federal structure, the government’s floor managers have decided to brazen it out and hit back citing specific cases of use of Article 356 by successive governments in the past.
At the same time, it will defend the imposition of President’s rule in the hill state as a measure needed in the wake of a “Constitutional breakdown.”
Outside Parliament, BJP’s spokespersons will also take the same line and insist impropriety was committed by declaring the Appropriation Bill ‘passed’ while ignoring the demand by nine rebel Congress MLAs for a division vote.
According to sources, the government would flag the fact that out of 111 times President’s rule has been imposed since 1951, “Congress governments and those propped by it imposed it 91 times”.
The government is likely to reel out figures regarding imposition of President’s Rule from the time of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to the incumbent Narendra Modi.
“President’s rule was imposed 45 times during the 16-year tenure of Indira Gandhi. It was done 10 times during the 10-year rule of Manmohan Singh. In little less than five-year tenure of P V Narsimha Rao, President’s rule was imposed 11 times, while in the 17 years Nehru ruled, central rule was imposed seven times,” sources close to the government said.
“During the five years Rajiv Gandhi was at the helm, it was imposed six times, while during the one-year-and-216-days tenure of Lal Bahadur Shastri, President’s rule was imposed twice,” they said.