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It’s against Constitution: Politicians on Arunachal Prez rule move

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said the recommendation of imposing President’s rule, suspending an elected government in Arunachal Pradesh, was “against the Constitution”.

india Updated: Jan 25, 2016 14:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
( )

Politicians on Monday dubbed the government’s move to recommend President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh as ‘unconstitutional’ and said it amounted to trampling of democracy.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said the recommendation of imposing President’s rule, suspending an elected government in Arunachal Pradesh, was “against the Constitution”.

“Constitution doesn’t allow you to suspend an elected government and enforce the President’s rule in any state,” the Aam Aadmi Party chief said. “It is against the Constitution,” he added.

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

“Centre should have waited for court’s to decide on Arunachal,” AAP leader Ashutosh tweeted as some TV reports said that Arunachal Pradesh has been placed under President’s Rule after President Pranab Mukherjee signed the order on Sunday night.

On Sunday the Union cabinet recommended President’s rule in crisis-hit Arunachal Pradesh , a move that triggered a fresh slugfest with the Congress which ruled the northeastern state calling the decision an act of “political intolerance”.

Following the recommendation, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will call on President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday and is expected to apprise him about the decision of the Union Cabinet to recommend imposition of central rule in Arunachal Pradesh.

In a related development, Congress President Sonia Gandhi is likely to lead a delegation to the President requesting himnot to give his assent to the Cabinet decision.

“President’s Rule in Arunanchal is trampeling of democracy & exposes Modiji’s double speak of states being equal part of ‘Team India’,” Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said in a tweet.

Constitutional experts support move to recommend Prez rule in Arunachal

Meanwhile, the Janata Dal (United) has held the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) responsible for the political crisis in Arunachal Pradesh and accused Governor JP Rajkhowa of interfering with state government’ss functioning.

”The entire crisis in Arunachal Pradesh is due to the Central Ministers. There was a deliberate attempt to pressurise the Speaker of the state assembly. The Governor of the state is responsible for interfering with the government?s functioning, he should be recalled immediately. We condemn this and this is against the spirit of cooperative federalism,? JD (U) leader KC Tyagi said.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also criticised the Centre’s recommendation in tweets.

Arunachal Pradesh was rocked by a political crisis on December 16 last year when 21 Congress MLAs joined hands with 11 of the BJP and two Independents to “impeach” assembly speaker Nabam Rebia at a makeshift venue. The move was branded “illegal and unconstitutional” by the Speaker.

Altogether 27 MLAs in the 60-member assembly, including chief minister Tuki and his ministerial colleagues, boycotted the proceedings.

Government sources argued that if the top court, which has referred petitions on the Arunachal Pradesh crisis to a constitution bench, considers as valid the December assembly session at a community hall in Itanagar it will mean the state’s Congress government is in a minority and it is not allowing a floor test of its strength to happen.

Again, if the court rules the session as invalid then it amounts to a constitutional breakdown because the six-month rule was breached. “Therefore, in either case, the state is heading for a constitutional crisis,” a source said.

Constitutional experts saw nothing wrong in the Centre’s move if the assembly failed to meet in more than six months.

“The Union council of minister is well within its power to advise President’s rule as there is sufficient ground to conclude that the constitutional machinery has failed in the state,” former Lok Sabha secretary general PTD Achari said. “There is nothing unusual or extraordinary in the Opposition criticising the move.”

Earlier, high court Justice Hrishikesh Roy observed prima facie the governor’s decision to advance the assembly session to December 16 for taking up the impeachment proceedings against the Speaker was in “violation of Article 174 and 175 of the Constitution”.