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Exclusive: Telangana may not come into existence on June 2

March 29, 2014 11:50 IST

The birth of India’s 29th state will be delayed if the President’s rule in Andhra Pradesh is not passed in Parliament before April 30, reveals Governor ESL Narasimhan’s 'top secret' letter to Pranab Mukherjee    

President Pranab Mukherjee is upset with the United Progressive Alliance government for putting Andhra Pradesh into a serious constitutional crisis. By not adopting the President’s rule in Parliament, the administration of the now bifurcated state is headed for a complete collapse.

The creation of the state of Telangana will also be delayed if the Parliament fails to pass the President’s rule proclamation.

After the Parliament gave its approval for the formation of the new state, it was declared that June 2 would be the Foundation Day when Telangana will come into existence and start functioning. 

Mukherjee pointed out to the Prime Minister’s Office that by not adopting the proclamation of the President’s rule in Andhra Pradesh within 60 days after its imposed as per Article 356 Sub clause 3 and 4 of the Constitution there could be a complete breakdown of the administration.

He received a three-page "top secret" letter from Andhra Governor ESL Narasimhan about the validity of Constitutional arrangements in the state of Andhra Pradesh that within 60 days of clamping the President’s rule, the Parliament should pass the proclamation. The governor’s letter is becoming a hot debate in the Union home and law ministry.

With the Lok Sabha polls nearing, MPs will be busy campaigning. The Lok Sabha has not yet been dissolved and can be convened at any point of time. 

If the Centre takes a political call on the President’s missive, the UPA can convene Rajya Sabha for two days in the third week of April with a one-point agenda -- to pass the President’s rule in Andhra Pradesh 

It may be recalled that in 1991 when the President rule’s was clamped in Tamil Nadu by the Chandrasekhar government, Lok Sabha was dissolved. The then President R Venkataraman wanted Rajya Sabha to be convened to pass the proclamation. Following the directive by Venkataraman, in a two-day sitting of Rajya Sabha the proclamation of the President’s rule resolution was passed.

In his letter, Governor Narasimhan quoted Article 356 of the Constitution Of India, 1949 --- provisions in case of failure of the constitutional machinery in state

(1) If the President, on receipt of report from the Governor of the State or otherwise, is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution, the President may

(a) assume to himself all or any of the functions of the Government of the State and all or any of the powers vested in or exercisable by the Governor or anybody or authority in the State other than the Legislature of the State;

(b) declare that the powers of the Legislature of the State shall be exercisable by or under the authority of Parliament;

(c) make such incidental and consequential provisions as appear to the President to be necessary or desirable for giving effect to the objects of the Proclamation, including provisions for suspending in whole or in part the operation of any provisions of this constitution relating to any body or authority in the State provided that nothing in this clause shall authorise the President to assume to himself any of the powers vested in or exercisable by a high court, or to suspend in whole or in part the operation of any provision of this Constitution relating to high courts.

(2) Any such Proclamation may be revoked or varied by a subsequent Proclamation.

(3) Every Proclamation issued under this article except where it is a Proclamation revoking a previous Proclamation, cease to operate at the expiration of two months unless before the expiration of that period it has been approved by resolutions of both Houses of Parliament Provided that if any such Proclamation (not being a Proclamation revoking a previous Proclamation) is issued at a time when the House of the People is dissolved or the dissolution of the House of the People takes place during the period of two months referred to in this clause, and if a resolution approving the Proclamation has been passed by the Council of States, but no resolution with respect to such Proclamation has been passed by the House of the People before the expiration of that period, the Proclamation Shall cease to operate at the expiration of thirty days from the date on which the House of the People first sits after its reconstitution unless before the expiration of the said period of thirty days a resolution approving the Proclamation has been also passed by the House of the People

(4) A Proclamation so approved shall, unless revoked, cease to operate on the expiration of a period of six months from the date of issue of the Proclamation: Provided that if and so often as a resolution approving the continuance in force of such a Proclamation is passed by both Houses of Parliament, the Proclamation shall, unless revoked, continue in force for a further period of six months from the date on which under this clause it would otherwise have ceased to operating, but no such Proclamation shall in any case remain in force for more than three years: Provided further that if the dissolution of the House of the People takes place during any such period of six months and a resolution approving the continuance in force of such Proclamation has been passed by the Council of States, but no resolution with respect to the continuance in force of such Proclamation has been passed by the House of the People during the said period, the Proclamation shall cease to operate at the expiration of thirty days from the date on which the House of the People first sits after its reconstitution unless before the expiration of the said period of thirty days a resolution approving the continuance in force of the Proclamation has been also passed by the House of the People

(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in clause (4), a resolution with respect to the continuance in force of a Proclamation approved under clause (3) for any period beyond the expiration of one year from the date of issue of such proclamation shall not be passed by either House of Parliament unless

(a) a Proclamation of Emergency is in operation, in the whole of India or, as the case may be, in the whole or any part of the State, at the time of the passing of such resolution, and

(b) the Election Commission certifies that the continuance in force of the Proclamation approved under clause (3) during the period specified in such resolution is necessary on account of difficulties in holding general elections to the Legislative Assembly of the State concerned: Provided that in the case of the Proclamation issued under clause (1) on the 6th day of October, 1985 with respect to the State of Punjab, the reference in this clause to any period beyond the expiration of two years

Image: A pro-Telangana supporter participates in a protest before the decision on the bifurcation of the state  

 

A Corrsepondent in New Delhi