The Supreme Court of India recently upgraded its stand on the President rule in Arunachal Pradesh. The top court ruled that Arunachal Pradesh Governor JP Rajkhowa does not need to share the documents about imposing of the Central Rule. The court accepted the Centre’s argument that Rajkhowa enjoys constitutional immunity.
The easternmost state of India was witnessing anarchy at the hands of its own elected state representative, Chief Minister Nabam Tuki. The CM and his brigade created so much of ruckus in Arunachal that imposing of President’s Rule under Article 356 of the Constitution became unavoidable.
While outsiders are crying foul about the imposition, a large section of Arunachalis are supporting state Governor JP Rajkhowa. When I went through a news site run from the state, I was surprised to see quite many people welcoming President’s Rule. This is not the norm. People from the region detest any military intervention, especially from Indian Army soldiers who share nothing common with them.
The collective sentiment of Arunachal is that they have had enough of their CM’s antics, and are happy that he has ceased to be their ruler. The stagnant economy, lack of jobs, innumerable road blocks, and delayed salaries in government jobs are what worries the people, not the President’s Rule.
Governor Rajkhowa’s decision to implore for President’s Rule was not taken overnight. On December 17, demonstrators, led by CM Tuki and Speaker Nabam Rebia, slaughtered a ‘Mithun’ (a mountain bull) right infront of Raj Bhavan. It was a move engineered by Tuki to defy the Governor’s early call for the winter session of the state assembly and placed a motion seeking removal of the incumbent Speaker. It was Tuki’s way of telling the governor that if you don’t let us have our way, we will disrupt the peace of the state.
The opinion of the masses is legit that President’s Rule will kill the spirit of democracy. But it is the democratic ruler, CM Tuki who is to be blamed for the result. In his report to the Supreme Court, Governor Rajkhowa stated that the State Cabinet directed departments and officers not to submit any report to the Governor, and boycott the meetings called by him. The ruling party blocked the helipad at Itanagar to prevent landing of any helicopter. With the absence of any police intervention, complete chaos prevailed in Arunachal.
Rajkhowa, an Assamese, was intimidated by Nyishi youths, the tribe Tuki belongs to. It’s unbecoming of a state chief to throw all the rules of the Constitution, and incite chaos on basis of ethnic differences. But Tuki crossed this and much more. Allegedly the ex CM draws his strength due to his alliance with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang, a militant outfit.
The move is not politically-motivated as the Congress is desperately trying to prove it. Tuki tried to siege the power in his hands, and failed miserably at his attempt.