No prospect of President’s rule

Mumbai: Even if no government is formed till November 9, there will be no President’s Rule until the Governor is convinced nobody can form the government.

Though there is no specific time limit in the Constitution for forming a government, the Governor should have, by this time, invited one party or parties to form the government, says well-known constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap.

He also rejected the speculation that the Governor is obliged to impose President’s Rule after November 9. Kashyap, who was Secretary General of the Lok Sabha and is considered a foremost authority on the Constitution, was talking with the FPJ.

Q. Thirteen days have passed, the Governor has not invited any political party to form the government. Don't you think the Governor should have done so by, now?

A. Ideally, the Governor should have called a political party or parties to form the government. He should immediately start the process of government formation.

As per Constitution, it is the Governor's duty to constitute the government in the state. But the constitution has not fixed any time limit for the Governor. It is up to the conscience of the Governor and he can take as much time as he deems fit to complete this process.

Q. The term of the Assembly ends on November 9. It is being claimed that if no party forms the government by then, President’s Rule will have to be imposed. What is the constitutional provisions on this?

A. There is no connection between the term of the House and imposition of President’s Rule. The next legislative Assembly will come into existence immediately after the term of the current Assembly ends.

There is no need for government or President’s Rule for facilitating the commencement of the next Assembly. The formation of government is an independent process. 

The Governor can take as much time as he wants to explore all constitutional avenues to form the government. This process can be completed even after the start of the term of the next Assembly.

When the Governor is satisfied that no party and no coalition can form a stable government, or the government constituted by the Governor fails the floor test, then he will convey to the President  that no government can be formed in the state. Then, in such a case, the Governor will recommend President’s Rule.

Q. Will imposition of President’s Rule lead to dissolution of Assembly? And what can be the future course?

A. President’s Rule can be imposed for six months. But, during this period, if any strong political formulation emerges and stakes claim, President’s Rule can be lifted anytime to facilitate formation of new government. During President’s Rule, Legislative Assembly will be kept in suspended animation.

But, even after six months of President’s Rule, if no political party or coalition can form the government and the Governor is satisfied that there are no prospects of one, then he can recommend dissolution of the Legislative Assembly. This will lead to mid-term poll in the State.