The Union Cabinet on Sunday recommended President’s Rule for Arunachal Pradesh, which has been embroiled in a political tussle for several months. According to PTI, official sources within the Cabinet had confirmed the move after a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The decision has now been sent to President Pranab Mukherjee for his approval.
The move provoked an immediate response from Congress, which is in power in the state. Senior leader Kapil Sibal told ANI they will challenge the matter. Another Congress leader, Randeep Surjewala tweeted: "President's Rule in Arunanchal is trampling of democracy & exposes Modiji's double speak of states being equal part of 'Team India' (sic)." Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also got involved, tweeting: "Union Cabinet recommending President rule in Arunachal shocking. Murder of Constitution on Republic Day eve. BJP lost elections. Now acquiring power through back door".
The Congress has been alleging that the Modi government is trying to oust the party in Arunachal Pradesh through Governor Jyoti Prashad Rajkhowa and Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs. On December 16, a rebel group of Congress MLAs had joined the BJP legislators and moved to impeach Assembly Speaker and Congress leader Nabam Rebia. The proceedings took place at a makeshift venue with Deputy Speaker T Norbu Thongdok of the BJP presiding.
Rebia had then called the move “illegal and unconstitutional”, and moved the Guwahati high court. Following the fracas, the state’s Chief Minister Nabam Tuki (pictured above) had also written to Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee, asking them to intervene. Subsequently this month, the Supreme Court had ruled that no Assembly session could be convened in Arunachal Pradesh till January 18.