Invoke Article 356 Dismiss Narendra Modi Government

Date: 
Friday, May 10, 2002

Press Statement

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

Dismiss Gujarat Government: Impose President's Rule

 

The situation in Gujarat continues to be grim since the Godhra attack on February 27. 70 days have passed since the unprecedented violence began against the Muslim community. Daily reports come in of killings and arson. In Ahmedabad alone, 31 people were killed since May 5.

The stark truth is that the state government refuses to provide protection to citizens belonging to the minority community and to take action against the culprits of serious crimes. There is no other explanation for the continuing carnage even after so many assurances given by the state and Central governments.

Despite the deployment of the army and the paramilitary forces, there is no end to the violence, as the state government does not have the will to act against the perpetrators who belong to political outfits patronised by it. The police seems more intent on combing minority populated areas than apprehending the BJP-VHP men identified as the culprits who are roaming about freely.

The nearly two lakh people living in make-shift relief camps have to be rehabilitated in their original homes and provided full security. All reports show that those who wish to return are being threatened or attacked. There is no scope for their rehabilitation under this government.

The BJP has refused to remove Narendra Modi as the Chief Minister despite demands from all sections, including its allies in the NDA. As long as the present government continues, the rights of citizens under the Constitution cannot be ensured.

The stand of the Vajpayee government that it is acting in the spirit of Article 355 is also a sham. There are no specific written directives to the Gujarat government to tackle the situation. Moreover, Article 355 must be seen as a prelude to Article 356.

The CPI(M) does not normally support the use of Article 356 against a state government. However, the situation in Gujarat is an extraordinary one -- it strikes at the basic tenets of the Constitution and the secular principle of the Indian State. After the demolition of the Babri Masjid when an extraordinary situation arose, the CPI(M) had supported the imposition of President's rule in four states.

The only way to save Gujarat from further violence and destruction and to protect the minorities and the Constitutional principle, is to dismiss the state government and impose President's rule. This will enable Parliament to suggest emergent measures to restore peace and normalcy. Therefore, the CPI(M) demands the immediate dismissal of the Gujarat state government and the imposition of President's rule.