New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday said that the Supreme Court's historic verdict on Arunachal Pradesh is a clean message to those who wanted to trample upon constitutional propriety and democratic norms.
"Welcome Supreme Court's historic verdict. Those who had trampled upon constitutional propriety and democratic norms have been defeated today," Sonia said in a statement.
She hoped that the apex court's judgment would firmly establish democratic values enshrined in the Constitution and will deter the government from any further misuse of power.
Congratulating the people of Arunachal Pradesh, she added that the Congress would continue its fight to strengthen democracy and safeguard the federal structure of the country.
In a major setback to the BJP-ruled Centre, the apex court earlier on Wednesday quashed the decision of the Arunachal Pradesh Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa and restored status quo as on December 15 when Congress' Nabam Tuki was the chief minister.
A five-judge constitution bench pronounced the verdict on a bunch of petitions dealing with discretionary powers of the governor to summon or advance the assembly session.
Stating the governor's direction on conducting assembly proceedings is un constitutional, the apex court set aside all steps and decision taken by the legislative assembly pursuant to the governor's December 9th last year order and said they are unsustainable.
The Supreme Court had earlier in February reserved its judgement in the case for today. The apex court had said the verdict will not only have its effect on Arunachal Pradesh, but affect every state.
Just before the court had reserved its verdict, rebel Congress leader Kalikho Pul was sworn-in as the ninth chief minister of the state. He got the support of 18 dissident Congress MLAs and two independents, with 11 BJP MLAs giving him outside support.
Arunachal Pradesh had been under President's Rule since January 26.
Tuki-led Congress government was dismissed following days of turmoil after 21 of its 47 lawmakers rebelled against the chief minister.
The Congress, which had 47 MLAs seats in the 60-member assembly, suffered a jolt when 21 of its lawmakers rebelled. Eleven BJP MLAs backed the rebels in the bid to upstage the government. Later, 14 rebel Congress MLAs were disqualified.