The row over Arunachal Pradesh governor JP Rajkhowa’s move to call an emergency session of the assembly escalated on Wednesday with Congress president Sonia Gandhi accusing the central government of destablising a democratically elected government in the north-eastern state.
Gandhi led a delegation of party leaders, including former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi, to the Rashtrapati Bhavan and urged the President to preserve the sanctity of the Constitution, democratic traditions of the country, its polity and the rule of law.
The Congress once again alleged that the central government was trying to topple the state government through the governor. “It is clear that the BJP top leadership in connivance with some dissident Congress MLAs planned to destabilise the Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh. This is obviously a pre-planned design involving the highest functionaries of the central government in this unprincipled enterprise,” Sonia Gandhi told reporters after meeting the President.
The Arunachal Pradesh assembly on Wednesday passed a resolution to “impeach” speaker Nabam Rebia by a voice vote and signatured consent of 33 members, including 20 rebel Congress MLAs, 11 of the BJP and two independents, in a vote boycotted by supporters of chief minister Nabam Tuki.
Twenty-seven members of the House, including the chief minister, his ministerial colleagues and 16 Congress MLAs abstained from the proceedings chaired by deputy speaker T Norbu Thongdok held
at the makeshift venue of a community hall after the district administration sealed the assembly secretariat complex apprehending law and order problems.
The Arunachal Pradesh issue also rocked both Houses of Parliament with leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad claiming that an emergency-like situation prevailed in the state. The party forced repeated adjournments of the Rajya Sabha while Congress members staged a walkout in the Lok Sabha.
Alleging “murder of Constitution and democracy”, the Congress members demanded the immediate dismissal of the governor for preponing the session from January 14 to December 16.
Meanwhile in Itanagar, speaker Nabam Rebia said there will no assembly session from December 16 to 18 due to the alleged “interference of the governor in the assembly’s normal functioning and his behavior contrary to the Constitutional propriety”. Earlier, he disqualified 14 dissident Congress legislators.
However, deputy speaker TN Thongdok said the session will be held in accordance with the governor’s order. The speaker ordered the closure of assembly gates to prevent he dissident Congress legislators from entering the premises. However, the dissidents later held a meeting at a nearby place and passed a “resolution” declaring the speaker’s post vacant and the deputy speaker notified it.
(With inputs from agencies)