Congress reaches president, SC over Arunachal crisis (Roundup)

New Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) A day after the union cabinet recommended President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh, the Congress on Monday urged President Pranab Mukherjee to look into the matter, accusing Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa of violating the Constitution and also challenged the move in the Supreme Court.

Delhi’s ruling Aap Aadmi Party also termed the union cabinet’s recommendation as “against the Constitution”.

However, the BJP charged the Congress with having failed to protect the Constitution, and said the ruling party in the state has lost the constitutional authority to remain in power.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Rajnath Singh met Mukherjee and discussed the situation.

“We have submitted a memorandum to the president and requested him to look into the matter. We briefed the president about it. Whatever questions he had, we replied to him as well,” Congress leader Kapil Sibal said after a party delegation met the president and submitted a memorandum on the issue.

The Congress leader also accused Governor Rajkhowa of violating the Constitution.

“A governor who creates the crisis himself says there should be President’s Rule in the state,” he said.

“On one hand, you are responsible for creating such a situation in the state, and on the other, you request the union government to impose President’s Rule. Both cannot go hand in hand,” Sibal added.

The Congress leader said the recent happenings in Arunachal Pradesh were “politically motivated”, involving the Bharatiya Janata Party, its president Amit Shah and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

“A taped conversation is a testimony to the fact. We have submitted the tape to the court. They have hatched a conspiracy to destabilise the border state so that their government can be formed there,” Sibal said.

“They even tried to bypass the court on this issue,” he said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal slamed the central government and said the move was “against the Constitution”.

“The Constitution doesn’t allow you to suspend an elected government and enforce President’s Rule in any state. It is against the Constitution,” the Aam Aadmi Party chief told the media.

Kejriwal earlier termed the union cabinet’s recommendation of President’s Rule as “murder of Constitution on the eve of Republic Day”.

“The central government is like an elder brother, whereas state governments are younger brothers. He (central government) should not trouble a younger brother (state government),” Kejriwal said.

“We need the central government’s cooperation for proper development and functioning. With its cooperation, the development would be ten-fold,” he said.

“Instead of troubling us with CBI raids and President’s Rule, the Centre should support us,” he added.

Kejriwal said Bhimrao Ambedkar gave India the world’s best constitution which talks about justice, liberty and equality, but “it seems that there are several flaws in its proper implementation”.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi too condemned the decision to recommend President’s Rule, saying it was against the spirit of democracy and cooperative federalism.

“The political crisis is on in Arunachal Pradesh for last few days. However, it is sub-judice as the matter is in the Supreme Court and the apex court had already referred the matter to a constitutional bench of the court and hearing is on. The next date of hearing is not very far and the cabinet should have waited at least for the next date of hearing,” said Gogoi.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party at the centre, however, said the ruling party in the state has lost the constitutional authority to remain in power.

“Politically, this is an internal matter of the Congress and constitutionally, in either of the way in which the decision is pending in the Supreme Court, they have lost the constitutional authority to be in the government in Arunachal Pradesh,” BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi told reporters.

“And morally, I would like to ask one question — Why are you (Congress) running away from calling the house and proving majority or going for a floor test?”

“In fact, you are not able to convene your own legislative party meeting itself,” he added.

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