Seeking Greater Power and Constitutional Change: India’s President and the Parliamentary Crisis of 1979
It is highly unusual for a head of state in a Westminster system to seek to increase his own power and to generate substantial constitutional change amid a succession/dissolution crisis. The formal institutions of state and the party system are usually too stable, and even an ambitious head of state is usually hemmed in by rules and precedents which are too widely and well understood to permit any such thought. It appears, however, that in mid-1979 this is precisely what the President of India, N. Sanjiva Reddy, sought to do. To be more specific, he appears to have sought partly to achieve and partly to catalyse a major revision of the constitution which would have made the President the pre-eminent figure in the political system. He failed, but in a manner that leaves open the possibility of a revival of such attempts.
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- 1.See, for example, Statesman (Delhi) 12–15 and 19 July 1979.Google Scholar
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