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I N ..D E T A I L
Wednesday, September 30, 1998
Speculation rife on Bihar
NEW DELHI, Sept 29 (PTI) In a major development, Home Minister L.K. Advani today met President K.R. Narayanan to discuss Bihar amidst speculation that the government may send back its recommendation to impose Presidents rule in the state.
A Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesman, however, described the 30-minute meeting this afternoon as "routine". The meeting assumes significance as Mr Advani called on the President for the first time after the later returned the earlier government recommendation for imposition of Central rule in Bihar.
Meanwhile, Commerce Minister Ramakrishna Hegde told Star TV in Bangalore that he favoured sending back the recommendation to the President as the law and order situation in Bihar was "out of control."
Mr Hegde, who had initially opposed Central rule in Bihar, said if the government met the points raised by President while returning the Cabinet recommendations for Presidents rule through proper documentation and information, Mr Narayanan himself might reconsider it.
To a pointed question how soon the government should move in the matter, he said there could not be any timeframe for the same, but the law and order situation in Bihar was out of control and "I think it might be necessary to go back to the President."
But Opposition parties, including the Congress, reacted sharply to Mr Hegdes observation, saying the ruling coalition had not learnt any lesson from the embarrassment it had suffered on the issue.
PATNA (PTI): The BJP today demanded that Bihar Governor S.S. Bhandaris report on the law and order situation in the state, which was submitted to President K.R. Narayanan, should be made "public".
Party national vice-president Kailashpati Mishra told reporters that a public debate should be held to assess under what circumstances the Governor had suggested imposition of Presidents rule in Bihar.
He said if the ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) continued to pay "scant respect" to the Governors office in Bihar, it might lead to a "constitutional crisis", paving the way for a "civil war" in the state.
"The President should not remain a mute spectator when his representative is being abused inside and outside the House. His (Presidents) silence might result in a civil war in the state," he said.
He sought the Presidents intervention to ensure the dignity and the prestige of the Governor.
NEW DELHI: In a significant remark Commerce Minister Ramakrishna Hegde today favoured the sending back to President K.R. Narayanan the governments recommendation to impose Presidents rule in Bihar.
"In Bihar the law and order situation is out of control......it may be necessary to go back to the President" with the recommendation, Hegde told Star news channel from Bangalore.
Mr Hegde, who had initially opposed Central rule in Bihar, said if government met the points raised by President while returning the Cabinet recommendations for Presidents rule through proper documentation, Mr Narayanan himself would reconsider it.
Asked how soon the
government should move in the matter, he said there could
not be any time frame for it, but the law and order
situation in Bihar was out of control and "I think
it might be necessary to go back to the President."
Debate call a cover-up: Left
NEW DELHI, Sept 29 (PTI) The Left today dismissed Home Minister L.K. Advani's suggestion for a national debate on the use of Article 356 saying the government was trying to 'cover up its mistake' in recommending President's rule in Bihar.
"The BJP is trying to divert the attention of the people from their defeat (following the rejection of its recommendation by the President). Let them debate the issue with their own allies who opposed the move", the CPM general secretary Harkishen Singh Surjeet told PTI.
He said Article 356 had already been debated at various fora, including the Supreme Court, Sarkaria Commission and the Inter-State Council.
"There is nothing new in this debate. It is just BJP's attempt to cover up its wrong decision on Bihar", CPI national secretary D. Raja said adding several Chief Ministers had concluded that Article 356 has been misused.
Mr Raja said the Vajpayee government's intentions in trying to impose President's rule in Bihar were 'mala fide'.
Mr Advani had yesterday suggested a national debate on Article 356 to remove an "erring" state government.
Meanwhile the former Bihar Chief Minister, Dr Jagannath Mishra, on Tuesday hailed the statement of Mr Advani suggesting a national debate on the use of Article 356 to remove "an erring" state government report from Patna said.
Justifying the Union Cabinet's recommendation for imposition of President's rule in Bihar, Dr Mishra, chief patron of the Bihar Jan Congress (BJC), appealed to all political parties to hold deliberations on the relationship between the Union and the state government in the backdrop of President K.R. Narayanan rejecting the recommendation.
"The supremacy of the Union Cabinet in the Parliamentary system has been threatened as convention is growing that the Cabinet's recommendations can be returned under political pressure", he said, "but it is not a healthy development".
"Our Constitution does not provide for two power centres and constitutional experts have established the supremacy of the Cabinet responsible and accountable to Parliament", he said.
"If the Union Government is not satisfied that the constitutional provisions are not being followed by any state government, it is competent enough to invoke Article 356 and the President has to act on the recommendations of the Cabinet", Dr Mishra added.
The CPM will focus on the tactics to fight the BJP and "other communal forces" by strengthening the Left movement and rallying democratic forces for a third alternative, when the party meets for its 16th congress next week in Calcutta.
The congress, being held after over three years, will also chalk out its political resolution the direction the party should take in the present political scenario in view of the accession of the BJP to power, which it describes as a "very serious danger to national unity and integrity".
In another development the BJP on Tuesday said that the government should come out with a White Paper on Article 356 relating to imposition of Presidents rule in states to facilitate a nationwide debate on the issue.
"The government should come out with a White Paper on Article 356 giving details of the number of times the article had been used and when it was used and under what circumstances", party general secretary Venkaiah Naidu told reporters here.
He said the Congress wanted Article 356 to remain in the Constitution and by opposing its use in Bihar, it had "missed an opportunity for proper use of the Article."
The Left, he said were "shy of joining a debate on the issue".
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