Published: 05th May 2021
What The FAQ: What is President's Rule? Will Mamata-led West Bengal now come under Gov Dhankar?
Under Article 356 of the Constitution of India, if a state government is unable to function in accordance with Constitutional provisions, the Union government can take direct control of the state
The social media platforms have been overflowing with visuals of post-poll violence in West Bengal — while there have been some instances of violence, many of these posts have been found to be fake. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reportedly spoken to West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, expressing concern over the issue. More than 12 people have reportedly lost their lives and many more were attacked, according to the BJP. "PM called and expressed his serious anguish and concern at the alarmingly worrisome law and order situation. I share grave concerns given that violence, vandalism, arson, loot, and killings continue unabated. Concerned must act in overdrive to restore order," Dhankhar tweeted. but that's not all, a Chennai-based group, Indic Collective Trust, has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) asking the Supreme Court to declare President's Rule under Article 356 in West Bengal as the state government's machinery has broken down.
What is Article 356?
Under Article 356 of the Constitution of India, if a state government is unable to function in accordance with Constitutional provisions, the Union government can take direct control of the state machinery and the Governor would be the head of the state. In West Bengal's case, Governor Dhankar would take over. He will have the authority to appoint other administrators like retired civil servants to assist him.
What did the plea say?
The plea asked the apex court to direct the Central Government to deploy Central Protection Forces, including armed forces, to restore law and order in the state. It also said that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) should look into the involvement of politicians in the alleged instances of violence.
it also asked for immediate arrest and trial of everyone involved in these violent acts in front of a special court. "…the reliefs are imperative in order to protect the life and property of the people of West Bengal under Article 21 of the Constitution of India which is being brazenly violated in pursuance of political vendetta and supporters of the All India Trinamool Congress".
Will President's Rule be put in place?
The Governor has to send a report to the President about the condition in the state. If the state government is not being able to uphold Constitutional principles, the President can order them to step down. West Bengal reportedly has had President's Rule four times in the past. But whether the Governor would be able to make his case is the question.
While the caretaker government under Mamata Banerjee was in place till now, the Chief Minister was sworn in today. Banerjee has promised to work towards curbing the COVID-19 cases in the state before anything but will have to pay attention to the violence across the state.