The face-off between Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki and Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa took a serious turn on Tuesday as some of Tuki’s cabinet colleagues allegedly threatened and abused the latter in the Raj Bhavan, until security personnel escorted the Governor to safety.
The incident reportedly occurred when Tuki, accompanied by eight ministers, called on Rajkhowa to ask him to recall his December 9 order, in which he had preponed the Assembly session from January 14 to December 16.
While Tuki claimed that the order was “unconstitutional”, Rajkhowa said he had issued the order as per provisions of the Constitution, and after consulting legal experts. He said the government could explore legal options to challenge the order. Some of Tuki’s ministers reportedly got agitated, used unparliamentary words and “gestured in a very animated and threatening manner” before leaving Raj Bhavan.
A Raj Bhavan press release claimed that some ministers were about to “physically restrain” the Governor. “Not willing to listen to the Governor, questioning his authority and judgement… Led by Education Minister Tapang Taloh and Transport Minister Jomde Kena, (they) used unparliamentary words and gestured in a very animated and threatening manner… They also virtually threatened to disturb the Assembly session starting from tomorrow. They also were about to physically restrain the Governor when his PSOs swung into action and escorted him to safety,” said the Raj Bhavan press release.
Meanwhile, in Delhi, the Congress accused the BJP government at the Centre of trying to topple its government in Arunachal Pradesh by “misusing the office of Governor”. “What the PM, central government, BJP and RSS have done in Arunachal is nothing short of blatant murder of democracy, crude collusion, use of money… to subvert the clear mandate and misusing the office of Governor,” said party.
As many as 21 of the 47 Congress MLAs are reportedly ready to switch over to the BJP.
15 MLAs ‘disqualified’
Arunachal Pradesh Assembly secretary Tuesday issued a notification disqualifying 15 MLAs “on grounds of defection.” These included Pema Khandu and Kumar Waii, who were ministers till recently. All those who have been disqualified are Congress MLAs who were reportedly engaged in dissident activities.