Kerala was placed under President’s rule on March 17. A proclamation under Article 356 to this effect has been issued. The Union cabinet met in the evening and decided to recommend to the President placing the state under Centre’s jurisdiction in pursuance of the Governor’s recommendation. Governor Jyoti Vencatachellum dissolved the state assembly after the resignation of the 80-day old Karunakaran ministry following the withdrawal of support by a ruling front member, Lonapan Nambiar. This is the second time that Kerala has been placed under President’s rule in the last two years. Elections to the state assembly were held in January 1980. Chief Minister Karunakaran advised the governor to dissolve the assembly even though he did not enjoy a majority in it.
India has quietly cautioned Bhutan that any dilution of the special relationship between the two countries would be detrimental to both. New Delhi conveyed the message directly to the King of Bhutan in a speech by President N Sanjiva Reddy during a dinner hosted in honour of the visiting dignitary. The King said he appreciated India’s assistance to Bhutan’s Fifth Plan which is currently underway.
As the government maintained silence on the attack by a politician on two eminent surgeons, the functioning of the cardiothoracic department of AIIMS came to a standstill. All three resident doctors and three senior surgeons of the department have resigned. Five patients, scheduled to be operated on March 17, were told that their surgery will not be held. There are at least 30 other patients awaiting surgery or under post-operative care.