Centre state legislative relations

Prime Ministers and deputy Prime Ministers of India

Article 1 of the Indian constitution declares India as a union of states. The union however is not the result of an agreement among states to constitute into a union. Therefore the states do not enjoy right to territorial inviolability. The dynamics of the centre state legislative relations can be understood as below.

   1. Constitutional Provisions

The schedule 7 of the constitution provides for division of powers between centre and states in the form of union list, state list, and concurrent list. The major provisions of the constitution that determine centre state legislative relations are

  • Art 3:- The name area or boundary of a state can be altered by parliament even without consent of states.
  • Art 249 :-When Rayasabha passes a resolution parliament becomes competent to make laws on state subjects.
  • Art 352 :- under national emergency parliament can legislate on state subjects.
  • Art 356 :- under presidents rule in states parliament can legislate on state subjects.
  • Art 200 :-The governor can reserve certain bills for the consideration of the president.
  • etc

2.Analysis of the provisions in actual working

The dynamics of political parties form one of the major aspect governing the political dimensions of centre state legislative relations. As long as same party held power at both centre and state its only intra party factors that determined centre state relations. Post 1967, various regional parties have emerged at states. There were thus instances of differences in ideological and political orientation of parties at centre and state. This has strained centre state relation.

The politics of coalition has created instability of centre/state govts and thus instability in relation between both. The coalition politics also gives rise to inter party linkages.

The misuse of Art 356 for imposing president’s rule in states on the ground of failure of constitutional machinery when they were in majority has created rift between centre and states.

Under Art 3 of constitution, parliament can change name area boundary of a state. This article has been used since independence to reorganize and carve out new states. There are two major effects of this continuing reorganization process. Firstly, unity and integrity of state has been in doubt. Secondly, there has been persistent demand from regional groups for state hood like Bodo ,Kuki, Gorkhaland, Vidharbha .Since the centre only has the power to create new states the focus of these demands is to get attention of centre and thus has imposed considerable strain on centre state legislative relations.

The constitutional amendments alone cannot improve centre state legislative relations. These are political problems also which requires political solutions rather than looking for legal remedies always.

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