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Cabinet approves continuance of President's rule in Jharkhand

The Union Cabinet, which met here today with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the chair, approved the continuance of President's rule in Jharkhand beyond July 18.

The Governor of Jharkhand, Mr Syed Sibte Razi, in his report dated June 16, had informed the Centre that even after the lapse of almost five months since President's rule was imposed in the state, the political impasse there still continued and no political party or group had until now stake claim to form a new government in the state.

The Governor had, accordingly, recommended extension of President's rule in the state. This will now go to Parliament in the form of a resolution.

President Pratibha Patil had imposed President's rule under article 356 of the Constitution in Jharkhand on January 19, keeping the 81-member Legislative Assembly under suspended animation.

In terms of the first proviso to clause (4) of article 356 of the Constitution, the proclamation of the President shall cease to operate on the expiration of a period of six months from the date of issue, unless, a resolution approving the continuance in force of the proclamation is passed by both Houses of Parliament, an official statement said.

The decision to impose President's rule in January was taken on the basis of the Governor's report on the political deadlock in the state after Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Shibu Soren was forced to step down as Chief Minister on January 12 when he failed in his bid to get elected to the State Assembly.

Mr Soren, who was not a member of the Assembly when he took over as Chief Minister, was required under the law to get elected as a member of the House through a bye-election within six months of assuming office.

Since the 2005 Assembly polls, Jharkhand has seen three Chief Ministers. Mr Soren has held office twice. Mr Arjun Munda of the Bharatiya Janata Party stayed in office for 17 months, while Mr Madhu Koda, an independent backed by the JMM and the Congress, occupied the post for almost two years.

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