Prez Mukherjee Approves Central Rule in Arunachal Pradesh


New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday approved the imposition of central rule in Arunachal Pradesh, a day after the Congress protested the Union cabinet’s recommendation for the move.

On Monday, the Congress moved the Supreme Court challenging the NDA government’s decision that evoked sharp criticism from the Opposition and cast a shadow on the smooth functioning of Parliament when it sits for the crucial budget session next month.

Arunachal Pradesh was rocked by a political crisis on December 16 last year as 21 rebel Congress MLAs joined hands with the BJP’s 11 MLAs and two Independents to impeach assembly Speaker Nabam Rebia at a makeshift venue. The Speaker termed the move as illegal and unconstitutional.

The BJP justified the Centre’s action, saying it had to intervene because the crisis in Arunachal Pradesh amounted to violation of the Constitution’s Article 174(1) which prescribes that there should not be a gap of more than six months between two sessions of a state legislative assembly.

Before a Congress delegation met the President to seek his intervention on Monday, home minister Rajnath Singh called on Mukherjee to explain the rationale behind the NDA government’s recommendation that was sent to him on Sunday.

The Supreme Court has decided to hear on January 27 the Congress plea which assumes significance as a five-judge constitution bench, headed by Justice JS Khehar, is already examining the scope of discretionary powers of the governor under the Constitution in convening an assembly session without the advice of the chief minister and his council of ministers.