Need fresh thinking to counter communal strife: Rajasthan Governor

New Delhi, Feb.14: Rajasthan Governor Margaret Alva has said that there is a need for fresh thinking to ensure impartial handling of certain situations through, among things, applicability of Article 356 of the Constitution to small area within a State.

Alva said that the mechanism for consultation between the governor and the elected executive has been found to be inadequate in certain situations.

This necessitates a debate on the power of the governors, Alva said, adding “similar powers as those exercised by the Governor in Scheduled Areas can be thought of, for minority dominated areas in order to better deal with communal tensions and promote the development of minorities”.

Calling for new thinking on Article 356 of the Constitution-which provides for President’s rule in States-the Governor said: “When there is a localised disturbance, (e.g. communal or ethnic strife), in a part of the State, which may require handling by a politically impartial authority, we can think of a mechanism by which the provisions of Article 356 can be made applicable to a smaller area within a State.”

The two-day conference-presided over by President Pranab Mukherjee-was being attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his cabinet colleagues, governors and lt. governors of states and union territories.

Alva also called for enhanced co-ordination between the centre and states to counter threats to internal and external security.

In Rajasthan-which has the longest international border among India’s States-the law and order situation has been generally peaceful.

However, heightened threat perception continues in the wake of terrorist activities from across the border, Alva said.

The state, she said, should be assisted by the Centre as regards equipment and technical training to strengthen surveillance in the border areas. (ANI)