Soon after President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent for imposition of central rule in Arunachal Pradesh, former chief minister Nabam Tuki said the Congress still enjoyed a majority in the 60-member House, and that the party would fight it out legally. About President Pranab Mukherjee’s decision, he said it was expected as the Union Cabinet wanted to “rule the state from Delhi”.
“It was expected because the Union Cabinet…they wanted to do that. There was no option (before the President) because the government wanted it that way. They want to rule Arunachal Pradesh from the Centre, from Delhi…Arunachal is a peaceful state. No serious incident has taken place. There was no law and order breakdown. Ek machar bhi nahin mara…How can they impose President’s Rule like this?” said Tuki.
He said the President had “patiently heard our grievances”, adding that the “Union Cabinet might have pursued him to take the decision”.
Calling the decision to impose President’s Rule an “injustice” to the people of Arunachal, he said, “Rules have not been followed in Arunachal. The decision taken by the government is unconstitutional. The matter is in the court. Today, when every Indian is celebrating the Republic Day, such a decision by the Union Cabinet is enforced. It is an injustice to the people of the state.”
Asked whether delay by the party in handling the crisis within led to this situation, Tuki added, “There is no crisis in the party. The party is united…There are a few dissident MLAs who have been taken away by the BJP…They had already defected and had lost their membership. Therefore, the Speaker had disqualified 14 of them. So, they are no more in majority. They are in a minority. The Congress still has 31 members out of 44; 14 members have been disqualified and two have resigned.”
Rejecting the BJP’s argument that the Centre had to intervene due to a crisis created because of a gap of more than six months between two Assembly sessions, he said, “The matter was sub-judice because the high court had told us not to hold an Assembly session. There was a judgment of the high court.”
He also argued that the BJP was contradicting its earlier stand that the Governor’s order to advance the Assembly session was correct, and that the session held outside the Assembly, based on that order, valid.
“Now they are saying that the Governor’s order was wrong and that six months had lapsed between two sessions of the state Assembly, and that there was a constitutional breakdown. There is a contradiction,” claimed Tuki.
About the party’s next move, he said, “We will fight it legally in the court of law. We will fight in the court. We expect justice.”