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Working a Democratic ConstitutionA History of the Indian Experience$
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Granville Austin

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195656107

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195656107.001.0001

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Turbulence in Federal Relations

Turbulence in Federal Relations

(p.534) Chapter 26 Turbulence in Federal Relations
Working a Democratic Constitution

Granville Austin

Oxford University Press

Matters of national unity and integrity and the character of centre-state relations dominated the country's political affairs between 1980 and 1985. Governments in other states were reconsidering seriously the manner in which centre-state relations had been worked. They questioned the fairness and efficacy of the Constitution's distribution of powers, and called upon New Delhi to join them in making adjustments. This culminated in the states' constitutional revolt of 1983 and after, led by governments in opposition parties' hands. Taking retribution against Janata for its dismissal of Congress state governments, Indira Gandhi slandered Janata state governments as enemies of a strong India. Her first action regarding centre-state relations was to dissolve nine Janata-led state legislatures and place those states under President's Rule. This chapter describes the dissolution of state assemblies and the constitutional revolt of 1983.

Keywords:   state assemblies, constitutional revolt, Indira Gandhi, Janata state governments, centre-state relations

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