NEW DELHI: Arunachal Pradesh Governor JP Rajkhowa on Wednesday accused Congress legislators of assaulting him and defended his decision to advance the State Assembly session and fixing its agenda, maintaining that the Chief Minister and the Speaker had colluded to stay in power despite losing the support of the majority in the House.
Senior advocate TR Andhyarujina, appearing for the Governor, said when Chief Minister Nabam Tuki came to meet the Governor, some Congress leaders also abused Rajkhowa. “They (Tuki’s cabinet colleagues) physically assaulted the Governor and locked the Legislative Assembly,” Andhyarujina alleged, adding that this was not to be tolerated. “What kind of a democracy is this where a Governor was assaulted? This has never happened anywhere,” he said.
Andhyarujina counsel said, “The Speaker (Nabam Rebia) was hand-in-glove with the CM (Tuki). The Governor feared the biased Speaker would act in support of the Chief Minister... It was not justified to wait till January 14 this year, so he advanced the session to December 16. This was done for the public cause and in their interest. What was wrong in that?” The Constitution bench, headed by Justice J S Khehar, however, observed that the Governor may advance the Assembly session but cannot take away the discretion of the House to discuss, debate and decide any issue. “The Governor cannot act on mere apprehension. He has the right to play under the Constitution, as constitutional discipline warrants that the sanctity of democracy remains,” it said.
Andhyarujina cited a meeting of Congress MLAs called at the behest of Tuki on September 16 at Itanagar and alleged that rebel MLAs were forced to sign on blank papers, which later became resignation letters. The bench then observed that “democracy is paramount. It is the duty of a constitutional body to see that democracy remains in place. The Governor’s duty is to keep the democracy running and not to make a dent on it.”