With the party losing its government in Arunachal Pradesh, Congress dubbed the new dispensation as an “illegitimate child of BJP” and blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah for the “diabolical design to decimate democracy”.
“Gross and rampant misuse of money power finally delivered an immoral government of opportunists and turncoats. The mandate of the people of Arunachal Pradesh, who voted Congress party to power, has been robbed in broad daylight,” Congress’ chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala told reporters.
The party lost its government when 43 of its MLAs led by Chief Minister Pema Khandu defected wholesale and merged with the People’s Party of Arunachal today, just two months after it had regained power following the Supreme Court’s judgement.
Addressing a press conference, along with AICC General Secretary C P Joshi, Surjewala alleged that the People’s Party of Arunachal Pradesh is the “illegitimate child of BJP’s diabolical design to decimate democracy”.
He said the “architects of extinguishing and murdering” the very spirit of democracy and constitutionalism are Modi and Shah who rode to power on the promise of cooperative federalism.
“The prodigal sons of Congress who have jumped ship have made massive ideological and political blunder and compromise,” he said, hitting hard at the 43 of its 44 MLAs who defected.
He alleged that the Congress MLAs have also destroyed trust of people of Arunachal Pradesh, who voted for them as candidates of Congress.
“Despite the Supreme Court judgement, the fraud that was committed today is very ominous for democracy in India,” Joshi said expressing concern over its impact in the Northeast.
“We have seen what has happened in Jammu and Kashmir. We are concerned that similar situation will be seen in NE India,” he said.
Accusing the BJP of using money and muscle power, he said having been thwarted twice, BJP began by engineering defections, inducements and threats to subvert the people’s mandate.
Asked why the Congress failed to stop the wholesale defection, Joshi said that the message sent by the BJP was that if any state wanted development, it has to be in tune with the ruling party at the Centre.
Meanwhile the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma today claimed the NDA has formed a government in Arunachal Pradesh with 43 of the 44 Congress MLAs there joining the regional outfit PPA, thereby rejecting Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s leadership.
Assam minister and BJP leader Sarma at a press meet here, said, “As the PPA is a part of NEDA, which is a constituent of the (BJP-led) NDA, an NDA government is in Arunachal Pradesh from today. Arunachal is free from Congress.”
“With this development, stability should come to Arunachal Pradesh and bring the entire North East under the development umbrella of the NDA government,” he said.
On the eleven BJP MLAs extending support to the Pema Khandu government, Sarma said, “PPA is a part of NEDA and obviously it is morally obligatory to extend outside support. Khandu called me and desired PPA be called a part of NEDA.”
“We welcome the development in Arunachal Pradesh as it will strengthen one of our member party, PPA. Khandu is inducted into NEDA and is now one of its Chief Ministers,” he said.
Asked what message was sent after today’s situation in Arunachal to the Congress president and vice president, Sarma, a former Congress dissident, said, “The message is very clear … people do not want the leadership of Rahul Gandhi.
The Arunachal Pradesh development proves that.”
“Today 43 MLAs including the Speaker, resigned from the Congress and merged with the People’s Party of Arunachal Pradesh (PPA) and all, except Nabam Tuki, presented themselves before the Governor,” Sarma said.