Parliament Set for Art 356 Showdown

After all-party meeting called by Speaker, Cong says it will raise Prez rule; BJP looks to turn tables on Oppn

Published: 25th April 2016 05:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th April 2016 05:44 AM   |  A+A-

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NEW DELHI: The Congress is all set to raise the imposition of President’s rule in the hilly State of Uttarakhand in Parliament when it convenes on Monday after recess.

The Congress’ leader in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, told reporters after an all-party meeting called by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, where the Uttarakhand issue figured prominently, that party MPs would move an adjournment motion seeking a discussion on it under Rule 56.

However, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy said, “The matter is before the court and when the issue is pending in court and a decision is yet to come, there is no scope for a discussion on it. The Speaker has to take a decision on it.”

Speaker Mahajan too appeared to share the government’s view. “The court has given a stay till April 27 and I don’t think till 27th (there can be a discussion,” she said in reply to a question.

“We have raised the issue and want a discussion on this. Many from the Opposition also want a discussion,” Kharge said. On the government’s contention that a debate on Uttarakhand was not possible as the matter was sub judice, Kharge said the chair was competent to allow a discussion setting aside the rules. MoS for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that if the Congress raised the issue of President’s rule, it would have to answer why it used Article 356 several times in the past to dismiss democratically elected governments, indicating the government’s readiness to brazen it out in Parliament.

“If the Congress wants to raise the issue, it’ll have to face its own history as its governments had used Article 356 88 times, with Indira Gandhi using it 50 time,” Naqvi added.

Buses for MPs

The AAP government in Delhi said it would run six air-conditioned special buses for MPs. “I talked to Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on how MPs would go toParliament while the odd-even scheme is in place. After talking to her, we decided to run six special buses for MPs,” Transport Minister Gopal Rai said.

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