JP Rajkhowa removed as Arunachal Pradesh governor: All you need to know

Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa, who had refused to step down from his post as Arunachal Pradesh governor after being asked by the Centre to resign on medical grounds, was removed from his post by President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday.

Meghalaya governor V Shanmuganathan has been given additional charge of the state, a Rashtrapati Bhavan communiqué said.

"The president has directed that JP Rajkhowa shall cease to hold the office of the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh and has appointed V Shanmuganathan, Governor of Meghalaya, to discharge the functions of the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, in addition to his own duties, until regular arrangements for the office of the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh are made," said the communique, reported IANS.

 JP Rajkhowa removed as Arunachal Pradesh governor: All you need to know

Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa. Image courtesy PIB

Rajkhowa, a former IAS officer of Assam cadre, was appointed Governor of the Arunachal Pradesh on 12 May, 2015 during the rule of the National Democratic Alliance government.

In September, Rajkhowa was asked to step down by the Centre on "health grounds." Rajkhowa had then said that he was fully fit to carry out his duties and refused to give his resignation saying that he would so only when the President orders him to. Following his refusal, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had called on the President and conveyed to him that Rajkhowa's continuance in the post has become untenable after the Supreme Court's observations against him over the dismissal of the Congress government in the state.

According to The Indian Express, Singh told the President that the "the Centre has lost confidence in Rajkhowa."

Rajkhowa, a former Chief Secretary of Assam, had sparked off a row by his decision to move the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly session from 14 January, 2016 to 16 December, 2015 to conduct the floor test of the then Nabam Tuki government.

The Congress government had resisted holding the session on the Assembly premises and it was later held in a community hall and was attended by rebel Congress MLAs, besides two Independents and BJP MLAs.

In July this year, the Supreme Court had directed restoration of the status quo ante as it existed on 15 December, 2015, bringing back the Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh.

The court quashed Rajkhowa's decision to advance the Assembly session by a month and said the Governor "cannot interfere in the activities of the Assembly".

The court also quashed the President's Rule imposed in the state and all the decisions taken by Rajkhowa, leading to imposition and formation of a new government led by a breakaway faction of the Congress.

After Rajkhowa's removal, Congress lashed out at the BJP government and said they "dumped" Rajkhowa, after using him and when did not execute the "insidious agenda" of the ruling party.

"If Supreme Court strictures are the reason for his sacking then the Modi Cabinet is equally culpable. It should also go," Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said, according to PTI.

Tewari alleged the BJP government first "misused" the Governor to destablise a democratically elected government in the state and has now "dumped" him "because he was not able to execute the insidious agenda of the BJP the next time".

Firstpost's Kangkan Acharyya wrote that Rajkhowa, was known as good administrator, an honest civil servant and a writer of repute, but stands disgraced today.

He writes: "Rajkhowa is not only seen as responsible for violating constitutional norms but also for damaging the fabric of mutual trust between the people of Assam and those of Arunachal Pradesh."

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Sep 13, 2016 11:08:03 IST