The 4 W’s of PR

For those of you who are familiarized with corporate terms and jargon’s, No! PR doesn’t stands for Public relations. It is rather a rarely used and rarely heard term called President’s Rule. I have grown up hearing and being acquainted with words like President’s Rule, AFSPA, Bandhs, Strikes, Curfew, Shootouts, insurgents, militants, gunshots, killings and the likes. And now, after more than a decade I tried and am able to understand what exactly these things (AFSPA and PR) are. Since I have had the opportunities to learn more about what I only heard earlier, I am more than happy to share with you all the 4 W’s (What, Who, When and Where) of President Rule and the affected states in India.

  1. What: Some of us or most of us may be aware about this word and even its relevance but still let’s see what exactly a President Rule is. As per Wikipedia, President’s rule (or central rule) is a term used in India when a state is placed under direct federal rule. It is called President’s rule as the President of India governs the state through the Governor; with the help of the Union Government instead of a Council of Ministers headed by an elected Chief Minister accountable to the state legislature.

       2.Who: As per article 356 of the Constitution of India, President Rule gives authority to impose central rule if there has been failure of the constitutional machinery in any state of India. During President’s Rule, a Governor appointed by the Central Government assumes executive authority. Impose central rule if there has been failure of the constitutional machinery in any state of India. During President’s Rule, a Governor appointed by the Central Government assumes executive authority since the governor is appointed by the President of India on the advice of the central government; the state’s policies are controlled by the ruling party at the Center. During President’s Rule, the Governor appoints advisor(s), who are retired civil servants, to help in administration. The advisers act in lieu of state ministers.

3. When:  In practice president’s rule has been imposed under different circumstances such as:

1. State Legislature is unable to elect a leader as Chief Minister

2. Break down of Coalition

3. Irretrievable break down of law and order

4. Rebellion or insurgency in a part of India

5. Elections are postponed due to unavoidable reasons

6. Most often till mid 1990’s President Rule has been imposed in states due to the misuse of   Governor’s authority in collusion with the decision of the Government in power at the center (Federal Government).

Where: Well, this is the easiest part, if you asked any North Easterners or any other intelligent enough person where this PR will be most prevalent in, you will surely receive response from them saying it will be most common in the “disturbed areas” or the disturbed states that is the North Eastern States of India. But, If Wikipedia is to be trusted; unexpectedly other states like Goa, Punjab, Karnataka and Kerala have been also once blessed with the undesirable rule of the President, the PR. Now who would have thought these states would have been affected by the PR??

Relying on Jimmy Wales and his Wikipedia’s Team, the states of India which has witnessed maximum number of President Rule is Punjab with 8 times. I myself am shocked when I knew about it because I was expecting the least from this state but yes, there is a possibility mainly because of the Sikh Riot which crumbles down the political stronghold within the state and probably other economic or social political instability. And the proud second holder of maximum PR is the Union Territory, Pondicherry with 6 times. Third place holders are the trio states of Kerala, Karnataka and Goa where PR was enforced 5 times on each state. The fourth ranked is the six states of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Nagaland and Manipur with each state having witnessed 4 times each. The state of Uttar Pradesh has witnessed it 3 times followed by Orissa and Jharkhand with  2 times and the least affected states include Gujarat, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and Maharashtra 1 time each.

Lastly, it is amazing to know that 20 out of the total 28 states and 7 UT’s of our country have had endured President Rule, either in a positive way or negative terms.

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