27 January, 2021

If Push Comes To Shove

The BJP toys tentatively with Article 356 as Laloo's detractors gang up for the final heave-ho

If Push Comes To Shove

LAST fortnight saw the most hectic wooing of President K.R. Narayanan in recent times. First, Union home minister L.K. Advani met him, then it was the turn of Janata Dal leaders Ram Vilas Paswan and Sharad Yadav. The reason for the visits: can the president see their point of view in seeking the dismissal of the Bihar government by invoking Article 356? By the looks of it, the president seems satisfied.

The law and order situation in Bihar would make the Tamil Nadu government look like a model of good conduct; the state is bankrupt—government employees haven't been paid for months; the fact that half the state is under flood waters and the people are living out of boats with no assistance from the state government has not helped.

Union home ministry sources sent out feelers that Advani was happy with his visit to Rashtrapati Bhavan. On Friday, party spokesperson K.L. Sharma said the Centre would "seriously consider" imposing Central rule in Bihar. The president, it appears, agrees that the situation is ripe for...



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