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Centre ready to amend Article 356
May 13, 2003 19:46 IST
The Centre and the states on Tuesday agreed in principle to amend Article 356 of the Constitution to provide for safeguards to prevent its misuse.
The agreement came after sharp differences arose at a meeting of the Inter-State Council's standing committee over the deployment of armed forces, with the Centre rejecting the demand of the states that it should be done with their concurrence.
While some chief ministers wanted the armed forces to be deployed by the Centre with 'concurrence' of the state governments, Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani, who chaired the standing committee meeting, said, "Centre does not agree with this."
"It was decided to accept the Sarkaria Commission's recommendation that it would be desirable to have prior consultation with a state government before deploying armed forces suo motu in aid of civil power," he added. "I think we can conceive of a situation when Centre feels that armed forces should be sent to a state... not only in the north like Jammu and Kashmir, but also in the east or northeast," he said. "Otherwise we (Centre) will fail in discharging our constitutional duties under Article 355."
Chief Ministers of Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh attended the meeting. Senior ministers represented Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka governments.
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