Cabinet Okays President’s Rule in Puducherry Days After Govt Falls

The Union Cabinet has approved a proposal to impose President’s Rule in Puducherry, Prakash Javadekar said today.

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The Union Cabinet has approved a proposal to impose President’s Rule in Puducherry, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday, 24 February. The minister said that the decision had been taken since no party had stepped forward to stake claim to form the government in the Union territory in the midst of a political crisis.

Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy had submitted his resignation to Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan on Monday, minutes after his government fell in the Union territory. His resignation has also since been accepted by President Ram Nath Kovind.

On Monday, the ruling Congress and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) coalition had failed to prove its majority in the Assembly. Five MLAs from the Congress and one from the DMK had resigned the last week.


Why Did the LG Recommend President’s Rule?

While the Congress-DMK alliance blamed the BJP, the latter has refused to stake claim on the government. The Puducherry AIADMK leadership also said on Tuesday that they do not intend to form the government as of now.

Meanwhile, sources close to NR Congress leader N Rangasamy told The Quint that, he intends to form government “only if the Lieutenant Governor invites him to”.

“The Chief Minister has resigned and nobody has claimed to form the government. Therefore the Lieutenant Governor has recommended suspending the 14th Assembly,” Javadekar told reporters on Wednesday.

He said that the Cabinet’s approval will now be sent to the President, and after receiving his approval, the Assembly will stand dissolved.

Javadekar also noted that the model code of conduct is expected to kick in the UT soon after the Election Commission announces the dates for the polls there. Assembly elections for the Union territory are to be held by May 2021.


What Does President’s Rule Mean?

Article 356 of the Constitution provides for the imposition of President’s rule in case of “failure of the constitutional machinery in the state”.

This implies the suspension of the state government and direct rule by the Centre.

It comes into force when the President invokes Article 356 of the Constitution – after receiving a report from the Governor and on the advice of the Union Council of Ministers.

While it is called the ‘President’s rule', it is the Governor who acts as the constitutional head of the state and the “representative” of the Centre. The chief minister’s office and the state Cabinet remains vacant for this period.

Essentially, all the state departments would then report to their corresponding central agency, but via the governor.

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