President Pranab Mukherjee seemed poised to take a call on the Centre’s recommendation to impose President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh, after he sought clarifications from Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
This, even as the Congress party, whose government headed by Chief Minister Nabam Tuki is imperilled, moved the Supreme Court questioning the recommendation.
Top sources in the government told The Hindu that Rashtrapati Bhavan had, on Sunday night itself, conveyed to the Union government that certain clarifications were required on certain dates mentioned in the recommendations. On Monday afternoon, Mr. Rajnath Singh met President Mukherjee. Rashtrapati Bhavan did not confirm the part about Sunday’s conversation only saying, “the Home Minister did meet the President this [Monday] afternoon, as did the Congress delegation [protesting the recommendation].”
The Congress called the recommendation unconstitutional, with party vice-president Rahul Gandhi directly attacking PM Narendra Modi.
“Modiji you talk about federalism but murder democracy. You talk about cooperation but use every means to coerce. Imposing President’s rule in Arunachal is a blatant bid to topple a duly elected government. The Congress party will fight this attack on our Constitution, on our democracy and on the people’s mandate,” he said on social media site Twitter.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal came out in support of the Congress and criticised the Centre’s recommendation. “I strongly condemn the Centre’s move to impose President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh, while the matter is still pending before the SC’s Constitutional Bench,” said Mr. Kumar.
The official spokesperson for the BJP, Sudhanshu Trivedi, however, said not recommending President’s rule would have, in fact, imperilled the law and order situation in the State.
“Politically, this is a subject of internal conflicts of the Congress party, its MLAs crossed over as the Chief Minister and the Speaker were first cousins and that was creating issues among other MLAs of the party,” he said. “Constitutionally too, the State government did not call an Assembly session in the last six months. Even if they do not acknowledge the session, run outside the Assembly premises by so-called rebels in December, the Chief Minister should have called a session by January 21st. In either case it is a fit case for President’s rule,” Mr. Trivedi added.