Chidambaram assures MPs that W.Bengal will not attract President's rule

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New Delhi, Nov.30 (ANI): Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday assured members of Parliament that the UPA Government had no intention of imposing President's Rule in West Bengal, and was only sending a central facting finding team to that state in a bid to assist the government there on the issue of law and order.

Replying to a charge made by CPI-M Politburo member Sitaram Yechury that the Centre was guilty of violating the Constitution by interfering in a state subject, Chidambaram said during Zero Hour: "There is no scope for invoking Article 356 (President's Rule). It (the central teams' proposed visit to West Bengal) should not be viewed through the prism of Article 356. It is to assist the state government."

He reiterated the Centre was sending its fact-finding team after hearing of reports of violence taking place in several districts of West Bengal since June this year.

"This step is entirely non-confrontational for putting an end to the political clashes," he added, even as proceedings in Parliament were brought to a halt over the issue by the opposition.

Leader of Opposition L.K. Advani cautioned the central government against invoking Article 356.

"Don't do it lightly. It is a very serious matter," said Advani.

CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta termed the decision to send a central team to the state as an "unprecedented" and "unconstitutional".

"If the central government feels there is a breakdown in West Bengal, "let them promulgate Article 356. We shall face it in the streets," Dasgupta added.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Basudeb Acharia said the central government should desist from interfering in the state's affairs.

However, Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay said his party was in favour of imposing Article 356 in West Bengal.

Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav said an "all party meeting" should be convened to discuss the issue.

he Left parties advanced towards the speaker's podium twice over the issue to emphasize their protest.

imilar assurance were given in the Rajya Sabha, but the Upper House had adjourn proceedings twice.

Yechury said that he wanted an assurance that the central team will visit specific spots only in consultation with the state government. (ANI)

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