What is President’s Rule?

Radhika Dhawad | Nov 12, 2019 19:50

President Ram Nath Kovind today signed the proclamation for imposition of central rule in Maharashtra after Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s recommendation amidst political deadlock as uncertainty prevailed in the state over the formation of government.

President’s Rule is the suspension of the state government and imposition of direct central government rule in a state. The state’s governor issues a proclamation after obtaining the consent of the President of India. It is imposed in case of ‘failure of the constitutional machinery in the state.’

This is the third time President’s Rule has been imposed in Maharashtra.

Once for 112 days from February 17, 1980 and other from September 28 to October 31, 2014 for just over a month with the second being imposed from today.

With both the Houses’ approval, the rule can be continued for six months, which can be extended for a maximum of three years with the approval of the Parliament every six months.

However, after six months, the Election Commission (EC) will have to announce re-elections in the state. The rule can be dissolved if any party is able to prove its majority through floor test in the House.

While the Governor becomes the state’s constitutional head, the Central government takes direct control of the state. There is no Council of Ministers and the Vidhan Sabha is either dissolved or discontinued.

Till the time any government is formed, the chief minister’s office also remains vacant.

During the President’s Rule, no major government decisions can be made, no projects can be sanctioned and no major policy decisions including subsidies, etc., can be made.

Also read: President’s Rule imposed in Maharashtra amidst political deadlock