Saturday, August 15, 2009

Eye on Bengal, Mamata wants Art 355 in Naxal areas

Trinamool Congress, led by Mamata Banerjee, is pressing the government to use Article 355 of the Constitution and take over “law and order and development” in the Naxal infested regions of the country. Though its primary aim is to get its writ running in the Maoist infested regions of West Bengal, it is attempting not to make it appear so by underlining that it should be applied across the country to tackle the rebels effectively.

The TMC further wants that the Central intervention should be monitored by a Union Minister from the state, which would, in effect, empower members of the party in the government to take over.

Interestingly, the demand comes close on the heels of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi making a similar demand regarding Central intervention in Bundelkhand — a region across Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. It led to protests from both UP and MP and constitutional experts termed it impractical, referring to Centre-state relations.

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