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Impose President’s rule as Shivraj is unable to form Cabinet, says Congress

Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

President’s rule should be imposed in Madhya Pradesh if Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is unable to form Cabinet, Rajya Sabha member from the State and senior advocate Vivek Tankha said on Saturday in a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind.

The Congress leader said the patience of the 7.5 crore people of the State is “wearing thin” as they face a grim situation with regard to the spread of the COVID-19.

Several senior IAS officers including the Health Secretary have tested positive, he said.

Arguing that an “illegally designed and poorly conceived one-man show” has been unconstitutionally thrust upon the people amid a lockdown, he said, “Madhya Pradesh deserves to be governed by a Cabinet. This is what the Constitution mandates. It cannot be deprived of this constitutional privilege and specially so in this extreme crisis situation.

“Alternatively, if the Chief Minister is unable to form his Cabinet because of issues beyond his control, then a case of breakdown of constitutional machinery will be self-evident warranting the Union to consider the imposition of President’s rule.”

In the letter, copies of which have been sent to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Home Minister, the Congress leader appealed to the President as the “ultimate protector of citizens’ rights”.

“A government of a sole CM i.e one-man government without a Cabinet is an unthinkable constitutional anathema...constitutional/Cabinet accountability is a matter of faith and public trust,” he said

Mr. Tankha mentioned how the absence of a Cabinet has affected the fight against the pandemic.

Until Saturday morning, the State reported 480 positive cases and 40 deaths.

“The situation in Indore is grave with the highest percentage of recorded deaths. Indore has been declared a corona hotspot. Bhopal suffers the agony of the administrative collapse of the Health department with 45 plus IAS & other officials posted in the Secretariat/offices having tested positive,” he said in his letter.

“The bureaucratic/police response to the pandemic is pathetic. Now action under ESMA against doctors, health workers and others has been announced by the CM on the advice of bureaucrats while the country including the whole Opposition is united in the fight against the pandemic on the call of the Prime Minister.

“The CM’s bravado is understandable but not in the public interest — just as the Principal Secretary Health’s insistence on working and issuing bulletins despite testing positive.”

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2020 10:19:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/impose-presidents-rule-as-shivraj-is-unable-to-form-cabinet-says-cong/article31318870.ece

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