Congress party has intensified their protest in both the house of Parliament over developments in Arunachal Pradesh after the incumbent CM Nabam Tuki was voted out by the Opposition BJP and rebel Congress MLAs in a “special” assembly on Wednesday. The principal opposition party has been stalling the proceedings in Rajya Sabha since Tuesday seeking action against the state Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa over the same.
In a related development, the Gauhati High Court late on Thursday intervened to keep in abeyance the decisions taken at the special assembly session by the rebels and opposition MLAs.
Speaking during Zero Hour on the floor of Rajya Sabha, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad accused the centre for the current situation in Arunachal Pradesh.
“Never before in the history of country, President or a state Governor has called a session of Parliament or State legislative assembly without seeking an opinion from the cabinet,” he said adding “No Governor has ever before given instruction to the Speaker that who will be removed and who will stay”.
Soon after, Congress MPs stood up in protest, first at the aisles and then coming to the Well of the House, resorting to slogans. Members of CPI (M), AIADMK, SP and JD (U) came down in support of Congress party, even as Trinamool Congress staged a walkout.
Similar protest was witnessed in Lok Sabha, where Congress members led by party chief Sonia Gandhi staged a walkout after their adjournment notice over the issue was rejected by the Speaker. “Stop partiality” chanted Congress members as they walked out of the lower house. JD (U) and NCP members also joined the Congress MPs in their walkout.
Earlier, Gauhati High Court came down heavily on Arunachal Pradesh Governor, observing that prima facie the exercise undertaken by the Governor to advance the Assembly session is in “violation” of Article 174 and 175 of the Constitution.
The Congress-ruled state government too has claimed that Governor’s order was in contradiction to Article 174 read with Article 163 of the Constitution of India and Rules 3 and 3A of the Rules of Procedures and Conduct of Business of the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly. The state cabinet had already passed a resolution and sent an advice to the Governor to recall and cancel his order.
Ordering abeyance of the “special” assembly’s decision to vote out the incumbent Chief Minister, Justice Hrishikesh Roy of Gauhati HC also put in abeyance the notification issued by the Deputy Speaker restoring the membership of 14 suspended MLAs. The court order came on a writ petition filed by the AP assembly Speaker challenging the Dec 9 notification issued by Governor JP Rajkhowa advancing the Assembly session to December 16 from the scheduled day of January 24, 2016.
The High Court now posted the case for next hearing on February 1, 2016.
In a dramatic political development on Wednesday, 20 rebel MLAs of the ruling Congress party, along with 11 of the opposition BJP and two independent MLAs “impeached” Speaker Nabam Rebia in a make-shift “Assembly” premises in a community hall.
A total 33 members of the 60-member house then went on to “elect” the dissident Congress lawmaker Kalikho Pul as the new “Chief Minister” of the state on Thursday.
The sitting Chief Minister Nabam Tuki has also wrote to President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi late on Thursday seeking their intervention.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Congress party had approached President Pranab Mukherjee accusing the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre of attempting to “oust” the Congress regime in the state. The delegation was led by party chief Sonia Gandhi.
(With inputs from the PTI)