SC restores Cong rule in Arunachal; blow to BJP
EMBARRASSING Another setback for Modi govt after similar Uttarakhand ruling
The Supreme Court restored the Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh on Wednesday, embarrassing the central government for a second time in two months over its decision to impose President’s Rule in opposition-ruled states.
A five-judge bench led by justice JS Khehar quashed governor JP Rajkhowa’s decision to advance the legislative assembly session by a month last year, a move that precipitated the fall of the Congress government led by Nabam Tuki in December. He was succeeded by Kalikho Pul, who led a Congress rebellion and formed the government with support from the BJP. In May, the Union government clamped central rule in Uttarakhand but the Congressled state government successfully challenged that decision in court.
Despite the verdict, Tuki might find it difficult to hold onto power in Arunachal Pradesh if a floor test is held as the Congress currently has just 15 legislators in a house of 58. On Wednesday evening, he wrote to the acting governor about the transition of power and claimed to have taken charge as the chief minister from the Arunachal Bhavan in New Delhi. A Raj Bhavan spokesperson in Guwahati confirmed receiving the letter and said that there was no action yet from the governor. “The judgement has to be implemented and the governor will take all necessary actions and steps,” Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said after a high-level convened by the home minister Rajnath Singh.