Crying conspiracy and an ‘RSS hand’ in the ongoing Arunachal Pradesh crisis, the Congress on Monday filed a petition in Supreme Court challenging the recommendation for President’s rule in the state.
“The recommendation to impose President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh reflects the intolerant mindset of the Union government. Cooperative federalism has been thrown into the dust bin and ‘coercive federalism’ is the order of the day. The Union government’s agenda is to destabilise all non-BJP governments through the office of the Governor. Arunachal Pradesh is just one such example,” former Union minister and senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said. He questioned the hurry of the NDA government in this matter when the matter is before the apex court.
Alleging it to be an RSS ploy, Sibal said, “This crisis is the result of appointing governors who have been groomed by the RSS. Other governors have also, in a sense, trivialised the high office by acting as RSS Pracharaks and the long arm of the Union government. Never before in the history of India has a Governor abused his office to propagate a particular ideology. If the Union government, the BJP and the RSS continue to appoint governors with RSS credentials, our democratic fabric is in danger. The Modi government is the first such since Independence which has sought to throttle dissent and attack the liberal mindset. The Congress party will not allow Institutions to be misused to further the political ideology of the BJP and the RSS.”
Sibal, who also is a counsel for the state government, targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi by calling him the ‘fountainhead’ of political intolerance.
The Congress has further alleged that the Governor’s agenda was to help the 11 BJP MLAs along with 2 independent MLAs to create a constitutional crisis by not playing by the book and distorting the law. “The decision of the Cabinet on 24 January recommending President’s rule is mala fide. This recommendation suggests that the ruling dispensation in Delhi places the interest of the BJP in Arunachal Pradesh above the national interest,” said Sibal.
Meanwhile, a delegation of senior Congress leaders led by Ghulam Nabi Azad met Pranab Mukherjee on the issue today.
“We met the President and apprised him of the developments. He listened to us and we replied to his queries. We’ve given him a memorandum on this issue. We’ll fight this out inside and outside Parliament, and in the court as well,” Azad told the media after coming out of Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Constitutional expert Dr Shubhash C Kashyap said, “Governor is free to make recommendation for a President rule in the state and it depends on the Cabinet whether it accepts it or not. In the present case, the legitimacy of the Arunachal Pradesh government is in question. As per available reports, the present Arunachal Pradesh government doesn’t enjoy support of the majority in the state assembly. In this context, the Governor can recommend President’s rule.”
The RSS has refuted the charges made by the Congress.
“The RSS has nothing to do in this matter. Had the BJP wanted to form the government, it could have done it earlier on the basis of defection. Even last year these members had approached the BJP, but the latter didn’t take a call. The BJP wants to form government in a democratic manner. The Congress is in a state of panic because if it loses Arunachal Pradesh it would virtually lose its base in the North-East,” an RSS source told Firstpost.
Defending the Centre's move, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju has reportedly said it was a constitutional process because the Assembly did not hold its session for more than six months.
“This year on 21 January, the six-month time elapsed. President's Rule could have been imposed immediately but the matter is sub-judice and the decision is pending in Supreme Court. We do not have any role in the recommendation of President's Rule because it is a constitutional process,” Rijiju reportedly remarked.
Prof Rakesh Sinha, honorary director, India Policy Foundation, added, “The Congress is a victim of RSS phobia. As far Arunachal Pradesh is concerned, the Governor had no alternative than recommending President’s rule. The Congress used all unfair means to pollute politics in NE in the last 60 years. Now people of NE are liberating themselves from old Congress politics and adopting nationalistic politics. This is hurting the Congress.”