GUWAHATI: The Gauhati High Court on Thursday brought to an end the political drama in Arunachal Pradesh, at least for now. It stayed till February 2, 2016, the decision of Governor JP Rajkhowa, who convened the three-day Winter Session of Assembly without taking into confidence the Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers.
The ruling came on a petition filed by senior Congress leader and Supreme Court lawyer Kapil Sibal on behalf of Arunachal Assembly Speaker Nabam Rebia alleging that the Governor’s decision was at the behest of a certain political party. The case will be heard again on February 1.
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Chief Minister Nabam Tuki has all along argued that “as per the provisions of Article 174 of Constitution, the Governor can summon the Legislative Assembly session only on the aid and advice of the Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers. On the contrary, the Governor, on the strength of Article 175(2) issues a message for summoning a session.”
He highlighted this in letters written to President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday. “You are aware that message under Article 175(2) is only for a Bill and not any resolution of the members of the House. Furthermore, the Governor, not stopping by issuing this illegal order, also issues the agenda of the business to be transacted by selectively taking up pending business of removal of the Speaker to be chaired by the Deputy Speaker whereas the notice for removal of Deputy Speaker was submitted earlier to the Assembly Secretariat,” he pointed out.
Earlier in the day, 33 MLAs, including 20 from Congress, 11 from BJP and two independents “elected” Congress dissident and former minister Kalikho Pul as “Chief Minister” and “Leader of the House” following a no-confidence motion, moved against the Tuki government by 11 BJP MLAs and the two independents.
Pul had spearheaded the rebellion against Tuki. In the 60-member House, 47 MLAs are from the Congress and 11 from BJP apart from the two independents. The second day’s sitting of the Assembly was held at a hotel in Naharlagun with “due consent” of the Governor.