Ashik – 5117 words – College Essay
New Delhi, July 2012 Klaus Julian Voll and Kamakshi Nanda. 1 For further information please contact Ernst STETTER, FEPS Secretary General at ernst. [email protected] eu or David KITCHING, FEPS Policy Advisor at david. [email protected]
eu 1 Dr. Klaus Julian Voll advises FEPS on Asia and Kamakshi Nanda is a historian and political analyst. FEPS Rue Montoyer 40 B-1000 Brussels +32 2 234 69 00 | www. feps-europe. eu TABLE OF CONTENTS I.The 2012 Presidential Elections – outline II.
Candidate profiles ? Pranab Mukherjee ? P. A. Sangma III. Role and powers of the President: 2 THE 2012 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS The party of the ‘Aam admi’ (Common man), Congress, fielded a Bengali Brahmin, Pranab Mukherjee, as President. The son of a freedom fighter against British colonialism has served the Congress for more than four decades in various ministerial positions.
His opponent, P. A. Sangma, a Christian “tribal”2, hails from the state of Meghalaya.The former Labour Minister was supported by the Opposition National Democratic Alliance, and the ruling regional parties Biju Janata Dal from Orissa and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam from Tamil Nadu, on the grounds of being the leader of the Tribal Forum. 22nd July 2012 decided the faith of these two ex-Congressmen.
Both through their grit and ambition charted out their lives outside the villages they were born in. Their political journey started in rural constituencies of their home states. Their meteoric rise thereafter inspires awe in many.Disillusionment rankled both politicians, thus leading them to exit the party that was instrumental in getting India its independence. It is here that the similarities between the two men end.
The older, Pranab Mukherjee3, was brought back to the folds of his parent party by P. V. Narasimha Rao, India’s Prime Minister between 1991 and 1996, and became a Union Cabinet Minister with portfolios like Foreign Affairs, Defence and Finance. Whereas the younger, P. A.
Sangma4, in 1998, had a permanent divorce from the Congress on the issue of Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origins and her attempts to becoming Prime Minister.He formed the Nationalist Congress Party, together with the current Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, and never again occupied the post of the Cabinet Minister. Mukherjee’s name in the United Progressive Alliance-II became synonymous with a “troubleshooter”, handling difficult coalition partners and their demands. In certain cases he even acted as a “de facto Prime Minister” taking tough decisions on domestic policy issues and headed a variety of committees of ministers.
Rumours in the Indian capital at times hinted at Mukherjee’s own Prime Ministerial ambitions.Although Sonia Gandhi ‘’abdicated” in favour of the soft spoken and Oxford educated Dr. Manmohan Singh, voices have been clamouring for the younger Gandhi to take on a more relevant role in the Congress. A stoic old Congress strongman who stood in the way of Rahul Gandhi becoming Prime 2 P. A. Sangma belongs to the Garo community in the North-Eastern state of Meghalaya, which is matri-lineal and where children bear the name of the wife .
The youngest daughter is inheriting. “Tribals”, classified as Schdeduled Tribes (ST’s), are part of the so-called “Adivasis” (Original Inhabitants) in India with a population of about 100 millions. 4 See his comprehensive profile attached. See his comprehensive profile attached.
3 Minister was “Mr. Dependable” – Mukherjee. However the chance to be the first citizen of India was an offer difficult to refuse. ********************************* Mukherjee emerged in the presidential race as a clear winner and was declared the 13th President of the Indian Union and successor to India’s first female President Pratibha Patil. Mukherjee received a total of 3,095 votes (valued 713,763 votes) 5 or 69%, while his only opponent, P. A.
Sangma, received 1,483 votes (valued 315,987 votes) or 31%. The Electoral College for the Presidential Race is composed of elected members of both Houses of Parliament in Delhi and the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of all the Union States, including the National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union Territory of Puducherry6. A staggering 95% exercised their right to vote in the completed Presidential race. Among the 748 elected MPs from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Mukherjee secured 527 votes whereas 206 MPs seconded Sangma.Besides the UPA-II Mukherjee managed to garner votes from parties that are not part of the ruling central coalition: Janata Dal United (JD-U), the party which governs Bihar but is part of the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Samajwadi Party (SP), that recently formed the government in Uttar Pradesh, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), opposition party in Uttar Pradesh, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) from Bihar, the right wing Shiv Sena (SS) based in Maharashtra, of 2 of the 4 parties forming the Left Front, e.
. Communist Party of India (Marxist) and All India Forward Bloc and the Janata Dal (Secular) from Karnataka, led by the former Prime Minister 5 A weightage system is followed in order to have parity between the votes of the members of Parliament and the members of the Assemblies because the numerical strength of legislative assemblies is not uniform due to variation in population. Thus the votes of MPs and MLAs do not carry the same weight.The value of votes of MLAs are determined by a definite formula by dividing the population of the concerned state by the total number of elected members of the Assembly which is further divided by one thousand, i.
e. Value of vote of MLA = Total population of state ? Number of MLAs in the state ? 1000. The weight of an MP’s vote is computed by dividing the total number of votes assigned to members of the Legislative Assemblies of the states by the total number of elected members of both Houses of Parliament, i. e.
Value of vote of MP = Total value of vote of all MLAs ? Total No. of MPs.The Indian Constitution also states that the election for the post of the President of India is through the system of Proportional Representation by a single transferable vote. Electors are thereby permitted to indicate as many preferences as there are contesters. The candidate who manages to get the majority i.
e. above 50% of the votes is declared the winner. In case no candidate succeeds in getting a clear majority the single transferable vote comes into play. The person with the least first preference gets eliminated from the race while her/his votes are distributed among the other contestants.
The process moves on to the second preferences and so forth, to arrive at the final election winner. 6 This is the new name of the former French protectorate Pondicherry, located as a Union Territory within Tamil Nadu.. 4 H. D. Deve Gowda, all backed the former Finance Minister.
The politically unstable BJP controlled Karnataka saw 14 of its own MLA’s exercising their franchise for Mukherjee. A disappointed Sangma congratulated Mukherjee on his triumph. He rued, “I may have lost the election but the nation has also lost a golden opportunity to show solidarity with tribals. ********************************* However, the soon-to-be 77 year old Mukherjee represents the “ancient regime” in the Congress.
It remains to be seen what the erstwhile politician achieves within the confined parameters of his role as President. 7 Voices in the media are already hailing the ex-Congressman as “the best Prime Minister India never had”. The Presidential election and the young Congress general secretary, Rahul Gandhi, set to take on bigger responsibilities both within the party as well as the government and the imminent cabinet reshuffle might be connected.It could possibly herald the beginnings of a new era of Indian politics. UPA-II has tried to woo the other hues of the political spectrum in charge of states through large state economic packages such as those provided to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
This election may have laid the grounds for new alliances to come in the future. The political space for the 2014 general elections is to be watched. It would be interesting to see, given the new challenges being faced by the party at the Centre, what the Congress “game plan” will be for the upcoming years.Will we witness a shift to the young leadership, spearheaded by Rahul Gandhi, Sachin Pilot, Jyotiraditiya Scindia and others, to remove the shackles of the established “ancient regime”? If 2014 is to witness a so-called “hung Parliament” without no clear majority, Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India, will probably play one of the most important roles in his life – to decide the fate of the largest and most populous democracy in the world. 7 Please see the box – “Functions of the President”.
5 CANDIDATE PROFILES Pranab Mukherjee The son of Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee, a freedom fighter, followed his father’s footsteps by joining the Congress.This man of humble beginnings, born in Mirati village near Kirnahar town, in Birbhum district, West Bengal,8 has made an indelible mark in the Indian political scene. His first outing as Member of Parliament (MP) was 43 years ago. He became a minister 39 years ago, while his first tenure as Finance Minister of India came nine years thereafter. No Congress Prime Minister has renounced his services as Cabinet Minister in the past forty years, while no generations of MP’s have ever attended a single Parliament without the ubiquitous Pranab Mukherjee in it.Politics, history and law were the focus of his studies in Calcutta University.
Before finding his true calling in politics, Mukherjee worked as a teacher, journalist and lawyer. His astuteness and talent came under the radar of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on his securing a win for V. K Krishna Menon, a Malayalee independent candidate, in a rural constituency of Midnapore in West Bengal. The dramatic ascent of Pranab Mukherjee within Congress has all the hallmarks of a good legend.Indira Gandhi allowed Mukherjee to represent the Congress in the Parliament’s upper house, Rajya Sabha, in 1969, where he made himself a permanent feature by winning successive elections in 1975, 1981, 1993 and 1999.
His first Cabinet post was that of Union Deputy Minister for Industrial Development in 1973. The Shah Commission formed under the genesis of the Janata Party cried foul over Pranab Mukherkee’s alleged unconstitutional activities during the infamous emergency in India. Luckily for Mukherjee, the commission flopped on account of being accused of overstepping its jurisdiction and hence he escaped unharmed.Instead he went on to become Finance Minister to Indira Gandhi’s government from 1982 to 1984 – a term that coincided with the current Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India.
This Union Cabinet sojourn is best known for his resistance to pulling out the last of the 1. 1 billion dollar IMF loan in 1984. He is credited with putting the country’s finances in order which lead to the Euromoney Magazine rating him as one of the best Finance Ministers of the World in 1984. The steady upward growth graph of Mr. Mukherjee’s career took a hit following Indira Gandhi’s assassination in the same year.In the power struggle that ensued, in spite of winning accolades for his sense of direction as Finance Minister, he was excluded from Rajiv Gandhi’s Cabinet.
This 8 Pranab Mukherjee is a Bengali Hindu Kulin Brahmin. They are considered to be the highest strata of upper caste Brahmins in India’s caste system. In 19th century these upper caste “twice-born” Bengali Brahmins claimed to be better versed in the ancient scriptures as compared to other Brahmins. 6 prompted him to quit the Congress and float his own party – the Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress.It was only when the former P. V.
Narasimha Rao intervened that he returned to the Congress fold by assigning him the post of Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission. This five year occupancy at the Planning Commission from 1991-96 overlapped with Dr. Manmohan Singh heading the Finance Ministry. The economic reforms and openness of markets which transformed India occurred during this time. The Padma Vibhushan (the second highest civilian award) recipient moved from handling finances to External Affairs under Narasimha Rao’s tutelage.
He proceeded to become the Minister of Defence when the Congress formed the government in 2004. Wikileaks cables revealed the American preference of Pranab Mukherjee as Defence Minister rather than the incumbent A. K. Anthony. It was Mukherjee who signed the dotted line for the 10 year Indo-US Defence Framework.
As External Affairs Minister he oversaw the US-India Civil Nuclear Agreement coming into fruition. Although Pranab Mukherjee returned to his comfort zone as Finance Minister, he also became the Congress’s “Mr. Dependable – the solutions man”.On the basis of his vast experience and invaluable insights into Indian politics, economic policies and geo-strategic concerns, he is commonly perceived as the cleverest thinker in the current Union Cabinet formed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, although he perfects also the art of “saying nothing’ in public speeches. No decisions occur in the Congress without him being in the know. He is often fielded as a tough but fair arbitrator both with UPA coalition partners and Opposition leaders on central Parliamentary issues.
He is the Congress’s pillar of strength in the Lok Sabha (Lower House) when the Opposition launches its barrage of attacks on the government. Indira Gandhi’s “man for all seasons”, unwavering patience and relentless hardwork, has stood the Congress in good stead. It is reported that Pranab Mukherjee does not retire until 1 am in the morning on a work day since political meetings typically take place at his house between 10 pm and 1 am. When not in the Indian Parliament, Pranab Mukherjee served on the board of governors at the IMF, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.He was proclaimed “Finance Minister of the Year for Asia 2010” by Emerging Markets, the daily newspaper of record for the World Bank and IMF. In December 2010, The Banker, a British international financial affairs magazine, also bestowed on him the title of “Finance Minister of the Year.
” The year 2011 saw Mukherjee receiving an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by University of Wolverhampton. When his 18 hour daily work schedule permits some leisure time he enjoys unwinding by reading, gardening or listening to music – especially Rabindra Sangeet. True to his Bengali roots his favourite dish is fish curry with rice. He is married to Suvra with whom he has three children, two sons – Abhijit, a Congress MLA in West Bengal, and Indrajit – and a daughter Sharmistha, a Kathak dancer. His name was mooted for the post of the Presidency in 2007. It was however thought to be not advisable to relinquish so indispensible a politician from the Congress ranks.
Fast-forward to 2012 Mukherjee is an undisputable front runner in the Presidential elections. He received his official stamp of approval when Sonia Gandhi claimed him as her party’s first choice last month in June.Sushma Swaraj, leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, ruled out her party’s acquiesce of Mukherjee as he is a Congress leader. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is rallying behind Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Orissa and J Jayalalithaa, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu’s choice – the effervescent P. A.
Sangma (see portrait). In spite of the opposition camp’s persistent smear campaign over Mukherjee holding an office of profit prior to submission of papers in the Presidential race, his popularity and voters continue to grow.United Progressive Alliance-II allies Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam, Nationalist Congress Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal, and outside parties like Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal-United and Shiv Sena are all backing Mukherjee’s candidature. Trinamool Congress’s Mamata Banerjee, who inherited a state in dire finances, is a reluctant supporter of the man who declined her request for desperately needed financial package. Ending the long political journey as the President of India would be a fitting finale for Pranabda,9 who turns in December 77 years old.
P. A.Sangma Purno Agitok Sangma’s life is an inspirational story of a village child who by the sheer dint of his hard work and determination made it large in life. He was born two weeks after India won its independence on 1st September 1947 in Chapahati – a village in the scenic West Garo Hill district of Meghalaya in north east India. The tribal boy10 identified education as a path to succeed in the adult world. He studied in St.
Anthony’s College, Shillong, and went to pursue post-graduate studies from Dibrugarh University, Assam, in the field of International Relations. Later he also completed studies for a Law degree. Da or Dada means “brother” in West Bengal and is a form of respect. 10 P. A. Sangma belongs to the Garo tribe.
There are 400 Adivasi, ‘original inhabitants’, communities in India. Adivasis constitute approximately 8% of India’s population, amounting to nearly 100 million people. 8 Before commencing a public career, Mr. Sangma was a lecturer, lawyer and also a journalist. He began bottom of the political hierarchy as a worker affiliated to the Congress Party and quickly rose through the ranks. In 1974 he was the General Secretary of the Meghalaya Pradesh Youth Congress.
Within a year he became the General Secretary of the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee, a post that he held for five years. However it was not until 1977 when Mr. Sangma entered the national political stage. A sprightly 30 year-old Mr. Sangma won a Lok Sabha seat from the Tura constituency on a Congress ticket from Meghalaya. Historical circumstances played into his hands providing him with a golden opportunity to make an indelible mark on politics and politicians, which he did.
The Congress was losing steam in the country for the first time since independence.By 1980 Mr. Sangma was appointed the Joint Secretary of the All India Congress Committee. The same year saw him achieve his first Union Cabinet post as the Deputy Minister in charge of Industry under the Prime Minister of Indira Gandhi. After securing his third straight election to Lok Sabha in 1984 the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi bestowed on him the post of Minister of State in charge of Commerce and Supply. In 1986 he took an Independent Charge as Minister of State for Labour.
The government website on the speaker of Lok Sabha wax eloquent about Mr.Sangma’s first stint in the Union Cabinet. “Ever amenable to reason and conciliatory in attitude, Sangma, however, was uncompromising when it came to safeguarding the fundamentals of national interests. It was no wonder then that during his tenure as the Labour Minister, there was a sharp decline in industrial strikes and lock-outs.
Known for his meticulous homework, complete mastery of the subject at hand and phenomenally long memory for facts and details, Sangma was one Minister who could reply to a heated debate in Parliament without the aid of officials’ slips from the Officers’ Gallery.His amiability, thorough knowledge of the functioning of his Ministry and an inimitable sense of humour enabled him to tackle all challenges in Parliament. The Question Hour particularly brought out the best in him, handling the most ticklish matters with consummate ease. Throughout his Ministerial tenure, he retained the image of an honest and conscientious executive and always steered clear of any controversy. ” In spite of his phenomenal success in national politics, Mr. Sangma did not neglect regional politics.
He was well informed of all the political happenings in the north east. He returned to his roots as Chief Minister in 1988 for a brief two year period. He returned to Delhi in P. V. Narasimha Rao’s Cabinet in the capacity of Independent Charge of the Ministry of Coal. He was the first tribal to be elevated to a Cabinet Minister rank in 1995 in the Ministry of Labour.
His negotiating skills were put 9 to test as leader of Indian Tripartite Delegation to International Labour Conference in Geneva.He not only proved his mettle but was also elected the Chairman of the Asia and Pacific Region for the International Labour Ministers’ Conference, 1994-95. This period coincided with foreign investors showing interest in investing in India. To quell the growing uproar over the ‘social clause’ issue, Mr.
Sangma, as Labour Minister, held a Conference of Labour Ministers of countries from the Nonaligned Movement and other developing nations to adopt a common stand against international trade’s influence on social issues like labour standards for it might be exploitative.It was however in 1996 when Mr. Sangma created history. In half a century of Indian parliament’s existence no Opposition member had held the office of the Speaker of Lok Sabha. He was the unanimous choice of the 11th Lok Sabha cutting across all shades of political hues and ideologies. This period of public service is best remembered for his commitment to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Constitution (81st Amendment) Bill that was aimed at blocking one-third of the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assembly seats for women.
His sense of duty to the nation and propriety won him albeit grudging admirers both in the ruling and the opposition party as Speaker. He even set-up an 8-member study group to report on Ethics and Standards in Public Life of parliamentarians. Mr. Sangma had repeatedly propounded that ethics should dominate the legislative, executive and the judicial wing of the state so as ensure the success of democratic governance. Mr.
Sangma’s sojourn as Speaker would also form of history text books because he reigned in the Special Session of both Houses of Parliament on the occasion of India’s Golden Jubilee Independence Celebrations.In his address he emphasized the importance of a second freedom struggle, “freedom from our own internal contradictions, between our prosperity and poverty, between the plenty of our resource endowments and the scarcity of their prudent management, between peace and tolerance and the current conduct sliding towards violence, intolerance and discrimination”. Sangma found time to actively participation in social debates and intellectual interactions organised by civil society and others adding a new social and public dimension to the office of the Speaker.In addition he was the editor of a Meghalaya daily Chandambeni Kalrang and also took out two volumes on India in ILO. The government website on the speaker of Lok Sabha concludes, “In a short span of less than two years, Sangma left an indelible impress of his personality on the office of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. His cherubic face, hearty laugh, quick wit, boundless enthusiasm, impeccable demeanour and 10 earthy wisdom made him a household name, with people from all over the country showering compliments for the rare skill with which he conducted the proceedings of the House.
” The effervescent Mr.Sangma was ousted from the Congress in 1999 for revolting against Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origins. He floated his own party, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), along with Sharad Pawar and Tariq Ali. Following a split in NCP, Mr. Sangma briefly joined forces with Trinamool Congress but returned to his party NCP in 2006.
Six years down the line, Mr. Sangma, on facing stiff opposition from his party head, Mr. Pawar, on account of his Presidential ambitions, quit again. The former Nationalist Congress Party leader is supported by AIADMK and BJD but not his own party.
If elected he would be India’s first tribal and north-east Indian President.Sharad Pawar had remarked that NCP would tag along with Congress’s nominee while BJP, not wanting to antagonise its political partner prior to 2014 elections, has joined the bandwagon for Mr. Sangma. The Congress camp has adopted a tough stand against Mr. Sangma. Isolated voices such as those of Former Union Minister and a Congress tribal leader Arvind Netam favouring Mr.
Sangma were expelled. The Congress is belittling his claim of being a leader of the Tribal Forum with accusations of communalism. Not one to give up so easily Mr. Sangma is waging a losing battle on the issue of his opponent Mr.
Mukherjee, the Congress nominee, of holding an office of profit prior to submission of papers for the Presidential race. He even suggested the conduction of US-styled Presidential debates to test Mr. Mukherjee’s policy outlook. Mr. Sangma and his ardent enthusiasts are touring the country or calling on political dignitaries to garner adequate amount of votes against all odds. Mr.
Sangma, undeniably, possesses all the credentials befitting of the august office—legal training, long experience as a parliamentarian and Cabinet Minister, unflinching reputation for impartiality, transparency, humility, wit and wisdom.It remains to be seen if there would be any cross-voting against party lines indispensible for his victory. 11 ROLE AND POWERS OF THE PRESIDENT: India is a Parliamentary democracy, where the powers of the Government lie with the Prime Minister. The post of the President is the highest elective office in India. The President is the head of state of the Republic of India, the formal head of the legislature, executive and judiciary of the Indian democracy.
In addition the President is also the Supreme Commander of the Indian Defence Forces.She/He is the first citizen who represents the Indian nation and thus has no affiliations to any political party. Legislative functions He has the powers to summon and adjourn the sessions of both Houses of Parliament. She/He can dissolve the Lok Sabha. However, these powers are only formal, and by convention, they are exercised in conjunction with the advice proffered by the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister. The inaugural Parliament session of each year and the first after general elections is addressed by the President.
Another established norm is for the President to outline the latest policies of the government.Bills become laws after the official assent of the President. Constitutionally, she/he has the power to return a bill for review, provided it is not a financial bill or a constitution amendment bill. However the President is obliged to put her/his signature to the bill, with or without changes, when it returns to her/his office.
Otherwise, the President can ‘protest’ the bill sent to him the first time by withholding her/ his assent. In case both the houses of Parliament are not in session and the government is under pressure to take immediate action, the President may be requested to take out Ordinances.These presidential promulgations are as forceful and effective as laws passed by the Parliament. They are, however, temporary in nature and remain valid for six weeks from the date the Parliament is convened. In order for the ordinances to continue parliamentary approval is required for their validity.
Ordinances remain valid for no more than six weeks from the date the Parliament is convened, if not earlier. The Article 53 of the Constitution of India guarantees independent exercise of powers by the President, with some exceptions.In truth most of the Presidential authority is applied by the Council of Ministers, headed by the Prime Minister. 12 Executive function: The Constitution warranties all executive powers of the Centre to the President. The President appoints the Prime Minister, who then advises the President on the composition and appointments to the Council of Ministers.
The Council of Ministers in theory enjoys its power during the consent of the President, however, it must in reality be in the majority in the Lok Sabha or as minority government supported from outside.The President is responsible for making an array of appointments. These include: ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Governors of States The Chief Justice, other judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts of India The Attorney General of India The Comptroller and Auditor General The Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners The Chairman and other Members of the Union Public Service Commission Indian Ambassadors and High Commissioners to other countries The President also receives the credentials of Ambassadors and High Commissioners from other countries.Financial functions: No money bill can be initiated in the Parliament without the President recommending it. The Annual Budget and supplementary Budget placed in the Parliament stem from the first citizen of the country.
Appointment to the five year Finance commission post is made by the President. No withdrawal from the contingency fund of India can take place without the expressed permission of the President. Judicial functions: The powers to grant pardon and clemency are entrusted with the President of India.Apart from appointing judges the President is also endowed with the powers to dismiss them if the two Houses of the Parliament pass resolutions to that effect and by a quorum of two-thirds majority of the members present and voting. 13 The President may ask the Supreme Court for an advisory opinion when a question of law or matter of public importance comes to their attention.
They are not obliged to accept the Court’s counsel. He/she has the right to grant pardon, to suspend, remit or commute the death sentence of any person.The President cannot be prosecuted legally and has judicial immunity during her/his term in office. In addition the President is not answerable for the exercise of her/his duties. Pardoning function: Article 72 of Indian Constitution states that the President may grant pardons in the following cases: ? ? ? Punishment is for an offence against Union Law The guilty was judged by a Military Court Lastly, in case of death sentence Diplomatic function: The government negotiates all international treaties and agreement (including military) through its Ministers and officials in the name of the President.
These treaties, though, are subject to the approval of the Parliament. The President may represent India in international forums when the occasion is largely ceremonial. Military function: The President can on paper declare war or conclude peace, provided the parliament gives its consent after consultations with the Council of the Armed Forces, Chief staffs, Military Secretary and President’s Officer (Deputy Military Secretary). Emergency function: The President can declare three types of emergencies: ?National Emergency – Under Article 352 of the India Constitution, the President can make a move for a national emergency only in case of a written request by the central government headed by the Prime Minister. This proclamation, in order to take effect would need the Parliament’s approval within one month. It can be imposed for a period of six months and can be extended by another half a year through frequent parliamentary approval, up to a maximum of three years.
? State Emergency – Also known as President’s rule occurs when the President is convinced of a complete breakdown of constitutional machinery in a state.The President bases her/his decision on the report of the Governor of the concerned state or from other sources which suggest that the governance in the state cannot be carried out according to the provisions in 14 the Constitution. This emergency would need the approval of the Parliament within a period of two months. ? Financial Emergency – According to Constitutional Article 360, in case of a collapsing and dire economic situation where the financial stability or credit of India is under serious threat, the President could impose a financial emergency. It should be approved by the Parliament within two months.