Congress, JD-U and AAP today attacked imposition of President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh as “murder” of democracy and federalism and accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of “insulting” the highest court of the country that is right now hearing the matter.
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.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court decided to hear on January 27 the Congress plea challenging the Cabinet decision. The petition seeking urgent hearing was mentioned before Chief Justice T S Thakur, at his residence, who directed the matter to be listed for hearing on Wednesday.
BJP, however, defended the decision saying it needs to be seen from multiple perspectives and is as per Constitutional mandate and in turn accused the Congress of politicising the issue.
“This is murder of democracy…The matter is sub-judice and government has acted in haste. It is a clear-cut insult to the highest court of the land. Democracy has been murdered,” Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal compared the imposition of President’s rule to an Emergency like condition. “Prez rule in Arunachal Advaniji was right in saying that there are Emergency-like conditions in the country,” he tweeted.
Attacking the decision, outgoing Arunachal chief minister Nabam Tuki said they will approach the court as matter is sub-judice. He also claimed that there is no law and order situation in the state, which is peaceful, and claimed Congress had 31 out of 44 MLAs, with BJP having only 11, besides two independents.
“Rules have not been followed in Arunachal. Decision taken by the government is unconstitutional…We will approach the Supreme Court about the decision. Today is a historic day when every citizen is celebrating Republic Day and such a decision by the Union Cabinet is enforced on this day.
Writing in The Indian Express on the 'use and misuse of Article 356' Seema Chisti says that once Article 356 is imposed and President’s rule declared, it needs the approval of both houses of Parliament if it is to remain. It needs to be placed before the House within two months of its proclamation and once Parliament approves it, President’s Rule can be in place for up to six month.
Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday came under central rule with President Pranab Mukherjee giving assent to the Union Cabinet’s recommendation on such a course following political instability in the state.
Official sources said the President signed the proclamation two days after the cabinet held an unscheduled meeting on Sunday to recommend that the northeasten border state be brought under central rule.
Minister of State for Home Kiran Rijiju had 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.
On Monday Mr. Mukherjee 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 party urged the President not to give assent to the cabinet decision saying the issue was before the Supreme Court which has decided to hear the Congress petition on Wednesday.