New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday gave his assent to imposition of central rule in Arunachal Pradesh after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh met him yesterday and explained the rationale behind the Cabinet’s recommendation.
As President kept the assembly in suspended animation, Congress, which rules the border state termed the development as a "murder of constitution and democracy" on Republic Day.
An official release by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) confirmed the news and said that Mukherjee has signed a Proclamation under article 356(1) of the Constitution, imposing President's Rule in relation to the State of Arunachal Pradesh and keeping the Legislative Assembly of the State in suspended animation with effect from January 26, 2016.
"Taking cognisance of the constitutional breakdown that has taken place in the State of Arunachal Pradesh as reported by the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, the Union Cabinet in its meeting held on January 24, 2016 had recommend to the President of India to issue such proclamation," the release said.
Meanwhile, Congress slammed the Narendra Modi-led government for rushing to impose President's rule in the northeastern state, and "disrespecting" the Supreme Court by bypassing it when it was hearing the matter.
"The constitution and democracy have been murdered on this Republic Day. It is an effort by the government to nail federalism. The matter is sub judice and yet the speed with which the cabinet moved and the final decision has been taken is a clear indication that they have no respect for the highest court of the land," said Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan.
Reacting over the latest development, Arunachal CM Nabam Tuki said that they will fight this battle legally.
"We will approach the Supreme Court. On Republic Day they have imposed President's rule," he added.
JD(U) leader KC Tyagi echoing CM Nabam’s comments said: “This is a black day for Republic of India at Republic Day. It is against the spirit of cooperative federalism.”
Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat also critisised the move by calling it an 'unfortunate event'.
"It's unfortunate.Wrong move by Centre when matter subjudice in the Supreme Court," ANI quoted him as saying.
The move comes even as the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear Congress' plea against Centre's recommendation of President's Rule in the state.
Cabinet had on Sunday recommended imposition of President's Rule in Arunachal Pradesh.
The Centre’s move to impose President’s rule drew a strong reaction from the Congress party. A petition was filed in the Supreme Court yesterday after the Cabinet recommended President’s rule due to the “deteriorating law and order” situation in Arunachal.
Condemning the Centre, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar had earlier criticised the move.
Kejriwal had tweeted, "BJP lost elections. Now acquiring power thro back door". (sic)
Union Cab recommending Prez rule in Arunachal shocking. Murder of Consti on Rep D eve. BJP lost elections.Now acquiring power thro back door
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) January 24, 2016
Nitish Kumar wrote:
Strongly condemn Centre's move to impose Prez rule in Arunachal Pradesh, while the matter is still pending before SC's Constitutional Bench.
— Nitish Kumar (@NitishKumar) January 24, 2016
Apart from the insurgency-inspired unrest, Arunachal Pradesh has been witnessing unrest among the state assembly members as well.
Arunachal Pradesh was rocked by a political crisis on December 16 last year as 21 rebel Congress MLAs joined hands with 11 of BJP and two independents to 'impeach' Assembly Speaker Nabam Rebia at a makeshift venue, in a move branded as "illegal and unconstitutional" by the Speaker.