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If #ArunachalCrisis is a T20 match, the umpire just ruined it for the BJP

Panini Anand | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 1:44 IST
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The crisis

  • The Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh was all set to fall after the rebellion of 22 MLAs
  • But the Gauhati High Court\'s stay has given the government a breather

The stay

  • The Court has stayed all the decisions taken by the \"rebel\" Assembly
  • This is a setback for the BJP both in the state and at the Centre

More in the story

  • What happens next?
  • How the Congress\' troubles are far from over
  • What was the sequence of events?
The Congress seems to have averted the political crisis in Arunachal Pradesh for the time being. The Gauhati High Court has stayed all the decisions taken by the "rebel" Arunachal Pradesh Assembly, including the removal of the Speaker Nebam Rebia.

But now the crisis has become a constitutional one.

The Nabam Tuki government doesn't have a majority in the House but the Governor's orders and the efforts by the BJP have fallen flat after the HC stay.

Read- Arunachal govt in trouble: 22 Cong MLAs align with BJP, party blames Centre

Justice Hrishikesh Roy observed that prima facie the Governor's message to the House regarding dealing with convening of the Session was in violation of Article 174 and 175 of the Constitution.

This would be music to the ears of the Congress and it is likely to take on the BJP with renewed aggression in Parliament on Friday. However, the crisis in Arunachal Pradesh is far from over for the party.

The political drama

On 6 November, some Congress MLAs gave an impeachment petition to the Governor, which still remains unattended. Three days later, BJP MLAs gave a petition to the Governor against the Speaker of the House.

On 9 December, Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa issued an order under Article 174(1) of the Constitution, bringing forward the sixth session of the state Assembly by almost a month, without informing the CM and the state Cabinet. The session was to commence on 14 January 2016.

Gauhati High Court has stayed all the decisions taken by the "rebel" Arunachal Pradesh Assembly

The Congress alleges that the order was issued at the insistence of BJP MLAs. The Session, as per the Governor's order, was scheduled to start on 16 December.

Matters worsened during the last one week. The Governor accused Cabinet ministers of threatening him and using unparliamentary language. The police sealed the Assembly building and no one was allowed entry.

Congress has 47 MLAs in the Assembly of 60. Out of these, 22 dissidents stood with the BJP, which has 11 MLAs of its own. Together the two have a majority.

On 16 December, Congress president Sonia Gandhi led a party delegation to President Pranab Mukherjee protesting against the Governor's "misconduct" and the Centre's interference.

Almost at the same time, the 'designated Assembly' was called outside the Assembly house in Itanagar.

Also read: Cong march to Rashtrapati Bhavan, submit memorandum on intolerance to President

The session, chaired by deputy speaker, Tenzing Norbu Thongdok, a rebel Congress MLA, voted on the impeachment motion against the Speaker. 33 MLAs voted for the impeachment motion and it was declared that the Speaker had been removed.

A notice for a No Confidence Motion against the CM was also moved in the 'designated assembly' which was conducted from a hotel, by the BJP MLAs.

On Thursday, 33 MLAs voted in favour of the No Confidence Motion. The Congress, the CM and 26 MLAs declared the vote as illegal.

Meanwhile, the "impeached" Speaker Nabam Rebia filed a writ petition in the Gauhati High Court challenging the notification of 9 December issued by the Governor, advancing the Assembly session to 16 December.

The court decision has reversed the BJP's "victory". Had it not been for the High Court, the Governor would have invited dissident Congress leader Kalikho Pul and the 22 rebel MLAs to try and form a government in the state.

Congress has time until the hearing on 1 February to set its house in order

The judge allowed petitioner Kapil Sibal to plead on behalf of the government of Arunachal Pradesh as a party respondent. He posted the case for the next hearing on 1 February, 2016.

This means that the BJP's efforts to bring down the government in the state have backfired for now.

This would give the Congress some time to set its house in order and win back its majority in the state.

Until then, the BJP may just be on the receiving end, at least in Parliament.

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First published: 18 December 2015, 8:54 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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