Asserting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP was running the government in a ‘dictatorial’ and ‘anti-democratic’ manner, the Congress party on Thursday said the Supreme Court verdict to restore Nabam Tuki-led Government in Arunachal Pradesh was a lesson for the Governors to abide by the Constitution and not behave like BJP or RSS workers. “The Modi Government is a dictatorial government. Modi Government does not believe in democracy. What happened in Arunachal and Uttarakhand was killing the very idea of democracy. Now, the Supreme Court has given relief.
This clearly shows that the Modi Government is anti-democratic and the SC has forced this government to leave its dictatorial fashion of working,” Congress leader Shobha Oza told ANI. “It has reminded them the Constitutional position of Governors, and that they should behave as expected, and not as a BJP or RSS member,” she added. Nabam Tuki on Wednesday evening took charge as Chief Minister of the state at Arunachal Bhavan here in Delhi. Hours after the Supreme Court ordered the restoration of his government, a jubilant Tuki met Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her official 10, Janpath residence yesterday evening.
The Congress president during the meeting, which was also attended by party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, asked Tuki to take everybody on board and strengthen the grand old party in the northeastern state. In a major setback to the BJP-ruled Centre, the apex court earlier today quashed “message and direction” issued by Arunachal Pradesh Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa and restored status quo as on December 15 when Congress’ Nabam Tuki was the chief minister.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on the other hand, downplayed the Congress’ accusations of toppling elected governments and said the Arunachal Pradesh verdict is not a setback for the Centre. A five-judge constitution bench pronounced the verdict on a bunch of petitions dealing with discretionary powers of the governor to summon or advance the assembly session. Stating the governor’s direction on conducting assembly proceedings is unconstitutional, the apex court set aside all steps and decision taken by the legislative assembly pursuant to the governor’s December 9th last year order and said they are unsustainable. Arunachal Pradesh had been under President’s Rule since January 26. Tuki-led Congress government was dismissed following days of turmoil after 21 of its 47 lawmakers rebelled against the chief minister. The Congress, which had 47 MLAs seats in the 60-member assembly, suffered a jolt when 21 of its lawmakers rebelled. Eleven BJP MLAs backed the rebels in the bid to upstage the government. Later, 14 rebel Congress MLAs were disqualified.