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After Uttarakhand, Arunachal verdict damages BJP and Modi

Panini Anand | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:49 IST

The Supreme Court verdict on Arunachal Pradesh has come as a big setback to the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Narendra Modi government.

Ironically, on the day the SC delivered the judgement, BJP national president Amit Shah was in Guwahati to launch the party's ambitious political project, the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA).

The idea behind NEDA is to bring all non-Congress parties together in the Northeastern states, in order to bring to life the BJP's call for a Congress-mukt Bharat (Congress-free India). However, the BJP has ended up with pie on its face, as it had played a key role in toppling the Nabam Tuki government in Arunachal Pradesh, which the SC has reinstated.

The government that got dethroned, led by Congress dissident Kalikho Pul, had been formed with BJP support. But now, the apex court has directed that the situation prevailin as on 15 December 2015 must be restored, which means that Tuki is once again the Chief Minister.

Tuki's government still has to prove its majority in the house. But defeat is staring the BJP square in the face. What's worse, there is more pain and embarrassment for the party in Delhi - it has no grounds to justify the political moves it made in Arunachal Pradesh.

Similarities to Uttarakhand

Two months ago, the BJP faced similar embarrassment in Uttarakhand. In both cases, the Congress-led government was removed from power, and the BJP played a key role in destablising both governments by actively supporting Congress dissidents.

Modi's ministers and senior party leaders had been active in these states, with the attempt being to make them 'Congress-free'. Managers and close aides of Shah were deputed in these states to make the state governments fall. Sting operations and protests within Assembly premises were used to malign the Congress's image.

But court intervention in both these states has boomeranged in the BJP and the Central government's faces.

Impact on Parliament

Now, when Parliament convenes for the monsoon session next Monday, the Modi government will face the heat for its conduct in both the houses.

"Modi's commitment to cooperative federalism has fallen flat. The BJP was never a party which did such things in states. In fact, we always fought against it. Now, this is a big embarrassment for the party, both inside Parliament and outside it as well," a BJP leader told Catch.

Congress, indeed, will find more friends in Parliament when the session starts. Senior party leader Kapil Sibal has already said that the party is going to seek accountability and apologies from ministers who were piloting these conspiracies.

He also demanded that the tapes and audio records, allegedly containing conversations between BJP leaders and a businessman, should also be investigated. Sibal said the Congress had already submitted those tapes in court.

There's no doubt that the SC order will set the tone for the monsoon session. Parties that are in power in non-BJP ruled states are expected to join the Congress-led chorus.

Assam gains lost

For the BJP, the gains made by forming its maiden government in Assam have been overshadowed by the losses that the Arunachal case have brought.

Party leaders and cabinet ministers like Arun Jaitley, who had briefed the media about the gains made in these states, will be particularly under fire in Parliament now.

BJP's dream of a Congress-mukt Bharat has suffered a huge setback. The monsoon session is likely to further darken the clouds hovering over the Modi government.

Edited by Shreyas Sharma

More in Catch

Reinstated by SC as Arunachal CM, Tuki seems clueless about future

Governor overstepped the constitutional line in Arunachal, rules SC

Timeline: How SC threw the rule book at BJP in Arunachal govt case


First published: 13 July 2016, 6:29 IST
 
Panini Anand @paninianand

Senior Assistant Editor at Catch, Panini is a poet, singer, cook, painter, commentator, traveller and photographer who has worked as reporter, producer and editor for organizations including BBC, Outlook and Rajya Sabha TV. An IIMC-New Delhi alumni who comes from Rae Bareli of UP, Panini is fond of the Ghats of Varanasi, Hindustani classical music, Awadhi biryani, Bob Marley and Pink Floyd, political talks and heritage walks. He has closely observed the mainstream national political parties, the Hindi belt politics along with many mass movements and campaigns in last two decades. He has experimented with many mass mediums: theatre, street plays and slum-based tabloids, wallpapers to online, TV, radio, photography and print.

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