CPI-M favours amending Articles 356, 355

November 5th, 2008 - 10:19 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 5 (IANS) Calling for a debate on centre-state relations, Communist Party of India- Marxist (CPI-M) leader Prakash Karat Wednesday demanded amending Articles 356 and 355 of the constitution to incorporate safeguards against their misuse.Releasing an approach paper on ‘Restructuring of Centre-State Relations’, CPI-M general secretary Karat said it was being brought out to initiate a discussion among political parties and organisations to enable the emergence of a common platform and bring about a restructuring of centre-state relations.

Article 355 mandates the central government to protect states against external aggression and internal disturbance to ensure that the governance of every state is in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.

Article 356 gives the central government the power to dismiss a state government and impose President’s rule or central rule when thestate suffers failure of the constitutional machinery.

Karat said Article 356 should be invoked only in exceptional cases. “We supported invoking of Article 356 in some states when the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992.”

“As far as Article 356 is concerned, our stand is consistent,” said Karat, whose party was the first victim of the article when Kerala’s first communist government led by E.M.S. Namboodiripad was dismissed in 1959.

Karat, quoting veteran party leader Jyoti Basu, said the states should be strengthened so that the federal set-up of the country is strengthened.

The CPI-M leader also said the present practice of appointing governors should be changed, and the president hould appoint a governor from a list of three eminent persons suggested by the chief minister of a state.

“We are open for further discussion on these matters. We have sent a copy of this approach paper to all parties and leaders,” he added.

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