June 2019 News

Centre To Extend President's Rule In J&K

4 June 2019
The Daily Excelsior
Neeraj Rohmetra

Jammu: With Election Commission today categorically ruling out the possibility of holding Assembly elections before September, decks are cleared for extension of President's Rule in the State for another six months. President's Rule was imposed for six months in the State on January 3 this year after Parliament's approved the proclamation and the term comes to an end on July 3. 'Union Home Minister, Amit Shah had also held deliberations over extension of President's Rule in the State with State Governor, Satya Pal Malik and top brass of his Ministry on June 2 in New Delhi and given sufficient hints for extension of President's Rule', sources said. Sources asserted, 'as discussed in the meeting, Governor's Secretariat would soon initiate the process for making a formal recommendation to the Union Home Ministry for extension of President's Rule in the State', adding, 'subsequently, MHA would put the proposal before the Union Cabinet'. After getting Cabinet's nod, the Home Ministry will send the proposal to President, Ram Nath Kovind for issuance of proclamation for imposing President's Rule in the State. 'The proclamation will need approval from both Houses of Parliament', sources emphasised. In a related development, the Election Commission today categorically stated that possibilities of holding Assembly elections in the State would be explored only after the conclusion of Amarnath Yatra on August 15. 'The Commission will keep monitoring the situation in the State regularly based on inputs from all necessary quarters and announce the election schedule only after the conclusion of Amarnath yatra', said the poll panel in an official communiqué. The 46-day-long Amarnath yatra will begin on July 1, the day of Masik Shivratri, and would conclude on August 15, the day of Shravan Purnima. The State was placed under Governor's Rule, as provided by the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, on June 19, 2018, after the BJP withdrew from its coalition with the PDP. As mandated by the Constitution, the State was brought under President's Rule on December 19, 2018, but the final approval of the proclamation was obtained on January 3. While the Lok Sabha approved the proclamation on December 28 last year, the Rajya Sabha accorded its nod on January 3. With imposition of President's Rule, the powers of Legislature which were vested with the Governor for six months during Governor's Rule are conferred to the Parliament. 'As Jammu and Kashmir has a separate Constitution, in such cases, six months of Governor's Rule is compulsory under Article 92 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution, under which all the Legislature powers are vested with the Governor. The powers shift to the Parliament only after imposition of President's rule in the State,' sources said. Earlier this year in April, when representatives of State had met the EC here, they had indicated their reluctance of holding polls to the State Legislative Assembly in the near future in view of the on-going tourist season and the forthcoming Amarnath Yatra. The April meeting between J&K officials and EC top brass had taken place days after the three Special Observers appointed by the EC submitted their report on the possibility of holding Assembly polls in the State after the Lok Sabha polls. Sources further clarified, 'no Presidential proclamation shall in any case remain in force for more than three years except for the intervention of Election Commission of India, which has to certify that the continuance in force of the proclamation is necessary on account of difficulties in holding general elections to the Legislative Assembly'. Since the State does not come under President's Rule under Article 356 of the Constitution and is promulgated under Section 92 of the State Constitution, all the decisions taken thereof shall have a concurrence of the President under Article 74 (1)(i), under which Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as the head will aid and advise the President. Under the President's rule, the Governor had to seek clearance from the President and the Parliament for important decisions. Jammu and Kashmir had witnessed longest spell of President's Rule for nearly six years from 1989 to 1996 as then Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah had resigned in 1989 after appointment of Jagmohan as new Governor of the State by the then VP Singh Government. The President's Rule had ended in October 1996 after Farooq Abdullah was again elected as the Chief Minister heading National Conference Government with two-third majority.