The Union home ministry is mulling re-imposing President's rule in Andhra Pradesh as soon as it expires this month-end for want of parliamentary ratification.
The ministry's suggestion is aimed at circumventing the need to convene a special session of Parliament to ratify President's rule in the midst of the nine-phase Lok Sabha elections.
Andhra Pradesh was placed under Central rule on March 1 after the resignation of Kiran Kumar Reddy as the chief minister against the Centre's decision to carve out a separate Telangana state.
According to the Constitution, the presidential proclamation should be approved by Parliament within two months. This deadline expires later this month.
The new state – which has been carved out of 10 districts of Andhra Pradesh – will become a separate state on June 2, leaving Andhra with 13 districts. Assembly elections in the two parts of Andhra are being held along with the Lok Sabha polls.
Given that convening Parliament in the middle of campaigning would be a logistical nightmare for the MPs, the home ministry is toying with the idea of revoking President's rule, and re-imposing it almost immediately. This would give the government a two-month breather to get parliamentary approval.
Government sources said this clearly wasn't the best way to avoid a constitutional crisis, but appeared to be a practical way. Besides, there is a view that even if someone were to go to court against the proposed route, the court verdict would take time.
But at the moment, it is only a proposal and the final decision would be taken by the cabinet.