New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday gave his assent to the Narendra Modi government’s recommendation to put Arunachal Pradesh under Central rule.
Mukherjee allowed President’s rule to be imposed on the North-Eastern state after two days of consultations with experts, seeking clarification from Home Minister Rajnath Singh and also hearing out the Congress which swept to power in 2014.
The Cabinet had on Sunday taken cognisance of the constitutional breakdown in Arunachal Pradesh as reported by governor and recommended to the President to put the state under Central rule.
“The President of India has signed a proclamation under article 356(1) of the Constitution, imposing the President’s Rule in relation to the state of Arunachal Pradesh and keeping the Legislative Assembly of the State in suspended animation with effect from January 26, 2016,” an official statement said.
Congress spokesperson R P N Singh termed the decision to impose President’s rule in Arunachal as “unconstitutional”. “We will fight in Parliament and court,” he said.
Congress’ arch rival and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted: “Advaniji was right in saying that there are emergency like conditions in the country.”
JDU spokesperson K C Tyagi condemned the decision and termed it as “an alarm of threat and also a challenge to regional parties”. He also called upon non-BJP parties including the TDP, TRS, PDP, Shiv Sena and the Akali Dal to stand together and raise the issue in the Budget session of Parliament.
Arunachal Pradesh plunged into political crisis in December when 21 Congress MLAs led by former minister Kalikho Pul rebelled against Chief Minister Nabam Tuki and joined hands with the BJP. In 2014, the Congress had won 47 seats, the BJP 11 while two seats went to independents in the 60-member Assembly.
The Congress rebels along with the BJP and independent members had convened a Assembly session at a ‘makeshift venue’ after the main building was locked out by Speaker Nabam Rebia. The session at the makeshift venue “impeached” the Speaker, an act that was termed “unconstitutional” by Tuki.
The Congress had moved court against the ‘impeachment’ and the matter was being heard in the Supreme Court since January 15.
The Modi government claimed that the Cabinet was forced to take a decision to put the state under Central rule as six months and lapsed between two sessions of the State Assembly.
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said this amounted to a constitutional breakdown.
The ousted chief minister claimed that the Congress had the required numbers in the Assembly but had not convened the session as the matter was sub judice.