After crisis- ridden Arunachal Pradesh was brought under the President’s rule following President Pranab Mukherjee’s assent to the cabinet recommendation, the Supreme Court yesterday issued a notice to the Central government on the imposition of President’s rule in the state, seeking a reply by January 29.
While hearing the plea of Congress challenging the Union Cabinet’s recommendation for the state to be put under President’s rule, the apex court also asked the counsel for Arunachal Pradesh’s Governor J P Rajkhowa to furnish immediately the report that led to imposition of President’s rule.
The Supreme Court has fixed the next date of hearing on February 1.
The fresh plea assumes significance as the five-judge bench is examining constitutional provisions on the scope of discretionary powers of the Governor, amid continuing month-long impasse over Nabam Tuki-led Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh.
In an earlier plea filed by Nabam Rebia, who was allegedly removed from the post of Speaker by rebel Congress and BJP MLAs in an assembly session held at a community hall in Itanagar on December 16, has listed out legal questions, including the Governor’s power to convene the assembly session without the aid and advice of the government for adjudication by the apex court.
Official sources said the President signed the proclamation two days after the cabinet held an unscheduled meeting on Sunday to recommend that the northeastern border state be brought under President’s rule.
Minister of State for Home Kiran Rijiju said the cabinet was forced to take the decision because of a Constitutional breakdown as six months had lapsed between two sessions of the state Assembly.
Earlier, on Monday the President had called Home Minister Rajnath Singh and put some queries to him on the need for the imposition of President’s rule even as Congress, the ruling party in the state, met him and opposed the cabinet decision.
The Congress party urged the President not to give assent to the cabinet decision saying the issue was before the Supreme Court.
Other major opposition parties had also attacked the Centre’s decision saying it amounted to “murder” of democracy while the BJP said the crisis was of Congress’ making because it had lost numbers in the Assembly.
Arunachal Pradesh has been rocked by a political crisis since December 16 last year when 21 rebel Congress MLAs joined hands with 11 of BJP and two independents to ‘impeach’ Assembly Speaker Nabam Rebia at a makeshift venue, in a move branded as “illegal and unconstitutional” by the Speaker.
Congress has been a master in creating conditions in Arunachal Pradesh:
BJP leader Sidharth Nath Singh has said that President’s rule has been imposed not for the first time and Congress has no basis to complain as it is responsible for the “political instability” in the state.
“ This is not the first time that the President’s rule has been imposed. The Congress has been a master in creating conditions also in Arunachal Pradesh.
The condition has been created by rebel MLAs of the Congress and not by anybody else and at the same time there is also a constitutional requirement for the session to be held within a time span which has not been met.
Therefore, there is instability in Arunachal Pradesh,” Singh said.
Defending the decision, the BJP leader said:
“The Council of Ministers at the Centre recommended to the President.
President took his time and in his own wisdom has imposed the President’s rule. So Congress has no basis to complain.
If they want to make any political issue, they are welcome to do it.
Constitution needs to be respected.”
Earlier, Congress leader Manish Tewari had criticized the government for imposing President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh, calling the move to be a “sledgehammer blow” to Indian federalism and “misuse” of the Constitution, adding that the government should have waited for the Supreme Court decision on the matter
Defending the Centre’s move, BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi had said that Congress has “no answer” either on Constitutional or moral or political ground, as “a government cannot remain in office if it does not call for a session of the House within six months of the last session”.
He had pointed out that Congress MLAs revolted because of “family matter” and corruption charges against the government.
The Chief Minister and the Speaker are cousins and worked in tandem, fueling resentment within the party, he said.
Citing Constitutional provisions, Trivedi said six months shall not intervene between the last day of one session and the first day of the next session. He said the Nabam Tuki government should have convened the House by January 21 which it did not because it had “lost” majority.
“Let alone the meeting of Assembly, even the meeting of Congress legislature party was not called for the simple reason that Congress had lost numbers,” he had told the media.
Hitting back at Congress after it accused the Centre of misusing the office of Governors, Trivedi referred to former law minister and party leader Hansraj Bhardwaj’s controversial claims over the imposition of President’s Rule in Bihar in 2005 when UPA was in power.
He also raked up the issue of dismissal of BJP governments in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh following the demolition of Babri mosque in 1992, saying there was no justification for that.
Congress rebels ready to form government with BJP support in Arunachal:
Congress MLAs in Arunachal Pradesh who revolted against Chief Minister Nabam Tuki have welcomed the Union Cabinet recommendation for imposition of President’s rule in the state and said they were ready to form an alternative government with the support of BJP and others.
“We welcome the Centre’s decision as there was complete breakdown of Constitution. Nabam Tuki constitutionally, democratically and morally has no right to rule.
He should have resigned long ago,” MLA and spokesman of the rebel group, Pasang Dorjee, had stated.
Dorjee had pointed out that the rebel Congress group has 21 MLAs and they were supported by 11 BJP legislators and two independent MLAs while Tuki has support of just 26 MLAs in the 60-member Assembly.
Asked whether they would support a BJP-led government, Dorjee said that question does not arise at all as the rebel Congress group has more MLAs than the BJP.
“We are still in Congress and we want a Congress-led government, not BJP-led government.We are against Nabam Tuki but not against Congress party,” he said.
“We do not have any role in the recommendation of President’s Rule because it is a constitutional process,” the minister said adding that BJP has no intention to form the next government in the state as it was up to the MLAs to decide the future course of action.
Asked whether BJP would support a Congress-led government as claimed by him, Dorjee said for the interest of Arunachal Pradesh, the BJP would be ready to support the Congress rebel group.
“We are for development of Arunachal Pradesh. The BJP is also for development of Arunachal Pradesh.So, why will not they support us,” he stated, highlighting the fact that they have already projected former Minister and veteran state Congress leader Kalikho Pul as the next Chief Minister of the state.
Nabam Tuki insists on Arunachal being peaceful, blames Governor:
Former Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Nabam Tuki had earlier expressed surprise over the Union Cabinet’s recommendation for imposing President’s rule in the state.
“This is really shocking as the Centre did not consult the state government before taking such a harsh decision.
Arunachal is absolutely peaceful without even a single case of law and order breakdown reported in the last month,”
This New is Originally Posted on NITI CENTRAL