Shillong/Itanagar, Jan 24 (IANS) The BJP-led central government is trying to destabilise the democratically elected Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh, and the union cabinet’s recommendation to impose President’s Rule in the state was akin to “murder” of democracy, Chief Minister Nabam Tuki said on Sunday.
Tuki criticised the union cabinet’s recommendation to President Pranab Mukherjee, saying the matter was “sub-judice”.
“How can they (union cabinet) make such recommendation to impose President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh, especially when they are aware that the matter is still pending in the Supreme Court,” Tuki told IANS.
“It is a sub-judice matter and the BJP government has been trying to destabilise this democratically elected government (in Arunachal)… They (BJP) have murdered democracy,” he said.
On January 18, the Supreme Court constitution bench said it would examine whether Governor J.P. Rajkhowa’s decision of advancing the assembly session to December 16 to take up the resolution for the removal of Speaker Nabam Rebia was valid or not.
Rebia was removed as speaker by 14 rebel Congress legislators backed by 11 BJP legislators and two Independent legislators on December 16 in an assembly session held in a community hall in Itanagar that was presided over by Deputy Speaker Tsering Norbu Thongdok.
The 14 rebel Congress legislators were earlier disqualified by Rebia.
The deputy speaker, before moving the motion removing Rebia as speaker, restored the membership of the 14 rebel Congress legislators and later elected rebel Congress legislator Kalikho Pul as the new ‘chief minister’ in the absence of 26 Congress legislators including Tuki.
Claiming that he still enjoys majority in the house, Tuki, the first Christian to hold the office of Arunachal chief minister, said: “With the disqualification of 16 legislators, the effective strength of the house is only 44. Of these, 26 MLAs are with me and my government. Therefore, I am still enjoying majority.”
Meanwhile, welcoming the union cabinet’s decision, BJP’s Arunachal Pradesh unit president Tai Tagak said: “President’s Rule was indeed the need of the hour because of the prolonged constitutional crisis emanating from the infighting within the Congress legislature party.
“The people at large have welcomed this decision as they are fed up with the political unrest which has affected the development of this state,” he added.
Rubbishing the Congress’s allegation against the BJP for “masterminding” the ouster of the Tuki government, Tagak said: “The BJP has nothing to do with their (Congress) internal squabbling but they are accusing the BJP after they failed to resolve it among themselves.”
Meanwhile, state Chief Secretary Ramesh Negi said he was yet to receive any official communication from Rashtrapati Bhavan or the union home ministry to impose President’s Rule.
“We have not received any communication but we have heard it only from the media about the union cabinet’s recommendation to impose President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh,” Negi told IANS.
“As of now, Tuki is still the chief minister, but once we receive an official communication, he will be removed, and the governor will function as the chief administrator of the state,” he added.
Negi also said that the Arunachal Pradesh Police was geared up to prevent any law and order situation.
“We have enough forces to tackle any situation and the Centre recently sanctioned 10 more additional companies of central forces,” he said.