The Supreme Court restored the Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh on Wednesday, saying all decisions taken by the assembly after December 9 last year are invalid.
This means ousted chief minister Nabam Tuki is back, because he was in power on December 9.
“The court has today saved this country and its Constitution. A historic and remarkable judgment,” Tuki told news agency ANI.
But the Congress has just 26 MLAs now in the 60-member assembly. There are 21 Congress rebels, 11 BJP MLAs and two other legislators.
Congress leader and senior advocate Vivek Tankha said the governor has to respect the Supreme Court judgment and call Tuki to form the government. The assembly may take up a floor test later, if required.
With the Supreme Court restoring the previous Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh, the verdict is likely to set in motion the following chain of events:
- Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy, sworn in as acting Governor of AP during the leave of absence of incumbent Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa, will be tasked with implementing SC’s verdict.
- SC verdict reinstates CM Nabam Tuki and old Speaker Nabam Rebia.
- Present CM Kalikho Pul and Assembly Speaker Wangki Lowang will have to step down immediately.
- If there is demand, Speaker Rebia can summon special assembly session for floor test.
- CM Kalikho Pul can file review petition at SC, but chances of success in review petition are very rare as the case goes before the same Bench which decided the case previously.
- In the floor test, Congress, with only 15 MLAs, is likely to lose and Pul may stake claim for the CM’s post again.
- If political crisis continues, President’s Rule can be imposed after keeping the assembly in suspended animation for up to a year.
Tankha also said that there is now no need for the SC to look into pending petitions challenging the Centre’s decision to impose President’s Rule in the state.
“In the wake of this order, it is not required now,” said the Congress Rajya Sabha MP.
The Centre is likely to seek a review of the decision in the top court but most review petitions are generally dismissed.
Arunachal Pradesh plunged into political crisis in November after 21 of the Congress’ 47 legislators rebelled against Tuki.
This led to imposition of President’s Rule in January and the formation of a fresh government led by rebel MLA Kalikho Pul, supported by the BJP.