THE topic, though old, has many ramifications. Much work has already been done on the subject, yet with new societal and political situations, the topic remains fresh. There is no period within sixty years of the inception of the Constitution when the situation of constitutional crisis in one or the other state did not exist. The subject is connected with issues of federalism, over-centralisation, the role of governors-governors as the stooges of the union government-political, social and economic problems. This resolution is the crisis of confidence amongst the leaders, political parties and states. A different type of situation prevailed when the Congress used the Article 356 in those states where the rule of opposition parties prevailed. This Article is a borrowed section from Weimer Constitution which was put even as Section 93 of the Government of India Act, 1935. When this Article was discussed in the Constituent Assembly, one of the members had cursed the day and observed: “It is a day of shame and sorrow, may God help Indian.” An assurance was given to the Constituent Assembly that the Article would be used sparingly. But alas this never happened! The Congress has used it as a political measure for 105, out of 108 times including the following recent few cases like Goa (2007), Maharashtra (2006), Karnataka (2007), Jharkhand (2008/2009) and Bihar (2006/2007). The Congress diplomatically used it to instal its own party’s government. The role of Governors like Romesh Bhandari, Buta Singh and Rizvi is the example to be cited in the context of Governors.
It would have an excellent work if there had been an all-round comparison of UPA headed by Congress Vs NDA government and also by other parties. Article 356 as used at many times as a musical chair is a good conclusion (those words musical chair have not been used).
The book on the whole is informative, analytical and chronologically useful. It is written in good English. Price is reasonable and printing excellent.
When one reads it, one would reread it because of good material the book contains.
(Classical Publishing Company, 28, Shopping Centre, Karampura, New Delhi-110015)