Arunachal Pradesh: BJP and Kalikho Pul are getting desperate
Democracy sometimes throws up pot-boilers, keenly followed by those interested for updates, twists and turns. The adventures of the reinstated Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Nabam Tuki and his court-ousted predecessor Kalikho Pul have become one such pot-boiler. However, the BJP's open expression of bewilderment at the Supreme Court's judgment and Pul's show of strength at a hotel in Guwahati instead of the Assembly in Itanagar, smack of desperation.
Even as acting Governor of the state, Tathagata Roy, who is also a proud RSS worker, asked Tuki to prove his majority in the Assembly on 16 July, Pul decided to go for a show of strength. He paraded 41 MLAs in front of the media to demonstrate the support he enjoys. If Roy dismisses Tuki's appeal to delay the trust vote, Pul can easily demonstrate this support in the state assembly on the designated date. However, he chose to do it at a hotel in Guwahati instead, three days ahead of the actual event.
The BJP has already expressed its bewilderment at the SC verdict, calling it "very strange" that a party with majority is being asked to sit in opposition and also face floor test. This shows that it is not willing to comply with the SC's ruling that all actions that Governor JP Rajkhowa took that precipitated the fall of the Congress government in the state were illegal and need to be reversed.
The BJP wants everybody to forget those series of events that the top court has struck down. It only wants to remember and propagate that Pul has been the CM with a majority in the Assembly for the last five months and the SC ruling is a challenge to that. This is a demonstration of BJP's own sense of constitutionality, as opposed to the sense articulated by the Supreme Court. Pul is firmly with the BJP, having joined the BJP-led North East Development Alliance.
This alliance's goal, as articulated by its convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma, is to drive the Congress out of power from all North Eastern states.
If the Congress keeps up the momentum of its slide, this can be easily achieved, just like in Assam. However, the BJP's misadventure in Arunachal Pradesh and similar ongoing attempts in Manipur and Meghalaya indicate that this goal is not being pursued through fair and legitimate means.
The goal of Congress-mukt Bharat is as clear as the means adopted to achieve it. This is sheer desperation and the Supreme Court has tried to jolt the BJP out of it twice now. The party will be well-advised to heed to the message behind the top court's ruling or it risks getting its reputation discredited for a long time.
Edited by Aditya Menon
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