The controversy surrounding Arunachal Pradesh Governor’s order of advancing the sitting of state assembly has reached Rashtrapati Bhawan. Congress party top brass led by its chief Sonia Gandhi met with President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday afternoon accusing the incumbent Modi government of attempting to “oust” the Congress regime in Arunachal Pradesh. The principal Opposition party has also been raising the matter in Parliament since Tuesday.
Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa had ordered to convene the legislative assembly on December 16 as against the state cabinet’s decision to begin the session on January 14, next year. The state cabinet has already passed a resolution and sent an advice to the Governor to recall and cancel his order.
“It is clear that the BJP top leadership in connivance with some dissident Congress MLAs planned to destabilize the democratically-elected Congress Government in Arunachal Pradesh,” Sonia Gandhi told the press after meeting the President.
“This is obviously a pre-planned design involving the highest functionaries of the Central Government in this unprincipled enterprise,” she added.
The Congress delegation, including party vice president Rahul Gandhi and senior leaders AK Antony, Mallikarjuna Kharge, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and Ahmed Patel, handed over a memorandum to President Mukherjee, urging him to “preserve the sanctity of the Constitution, the democratic traditions of the country and polity and the rule of law”.
The party also sought the President to issue “appropriate directions/advisory” in this regard.
The Governor had issued orders on December 9, advancing the assembly sitting after 11 BJP MLAs and two independent members served a notice of impeachment motion against the Speaker.
The Congress-ruled state government, on the other hand, have claimed that Governor’s order is 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 matter has been vociferously raised by Congress party on the floor of Parliament since Tuesday demanding dismissal of Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa.
While their protest led to multiple adjournments in Rajya Sabha, its members, including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, staged a walkout in Lok Sabha.
Raising the issue in Lok Sabha, Leader of the party Mallikarjun Kharge said despite Congress having two-thirds majority, it is very “unfortuante that unconstitutional attempts are being made to throw out the government”.
“Efforts are being to destablise and elected government to bring in a non-Congress government,” Kharge added.
While in Rajya Sabha, Congress members trooped into the Well and resorted to slogans against the incumbent BJP government at the centre. The protest led to repeated adjournments in the Upper house before the Deputy Chairperson PJ Kurien called it a day shortly after 3:00 PM.
On the other hand, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkiah Naidu told the agitating Congress members that subjects relating to state assemblies and Governors cannot be discussed in the Parliament.
“The (Arunachal Pradesh) Speaker has disqualified 14 MLAs. It’s an Emergency-like situation there,” Naidu said.
(With inputs from the PTI)