New Delhi: In a major setback to the Congress, President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday gave his assent to imposition of Centre’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh.
An official release by the MHA said that President Pranab Mukherjee has signed a Proclamation under article 356(1) of the Constitution, imposing 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.
"Taking cognisance of the constitutional breakdown that has taken place in the State of Arunachal Pradesh as reported by the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, the Union Cabinet in its meeting held on January 24, 2016 had recommend to the President of India to issue such proclamation," the release said.
The union cabinet had made a strong case for President’s Rule in the hill state after 21 rebel Congress MLAs joined hands with 11 BJP MLAs and two Independents to impeach Assembly Speaker Nabam Rebia in December.
"Had a feeling they will do this as this was their intention. But we aren't nervous, we will fight this battle legally," said Chief Minister Nabam Tuki after news reached him.
The Congress has been fighting tooth-and-nail against the move and had filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging Centre's decision. The top court will hear the plea tomorrow.
However, 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.
Yesterday, Pranab 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.
In December, up in arms against Congress Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, 21 rebel party MLAs, including 14 disqualified a day before, with the help of BJP and independent legislators, congregated at a community hall after the state Assembly complex was 'sealed' by the local administration, and 'impeached' Rebia in an impromptu session chaired by Deputy Speaker T Norbu Thongdok.
27 MLAs in 60-member Assembly, including the Chief Minister and his ministerial colleagues, boycotted the proceedings.
A day later, in a bizarre turn of events, opposition BJP and rebel Congress MLAs congregated in a local hotel to "vote out" Chief Minister Nabam Tuki and to "elect" a rebel Congress MLA in his place but the Gauhati High Court intervened to keep in "abeyance" decisions taken at the rebel "session".
A "no confidence" motion moved by BJP MLAs and Independent MLAs was "adopted" with Deputy Speaker T Norbu Thongdok, who is also a rebel Congressman, in the Chair. A total of 33 members in the 60-member house, including 20 dissident Congress MLAs, later "elected" another dissident Congressman Kalikho Pul as the new "chief minister" of the state. The Chief Minister Nabam Tuki and his 26 supporting MLAs boycotted the proceedings terming them as "illegal and unconstitutional".
The Chief Minister later wrote to President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking their intervention to "uphold" the Constitution in the face of the "unprecedented murder" of democracy and "bypassing" of a democratically-elected government by Governor Jyoti Prashad Rajkhowa....