In a big blow to BJP and the Narendra Modi government, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered restoration of Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh by quashing as “unconstitutional” Governor’s decision to advance the Legislative Assembly session by a month in December last.
The apex court’s verdict paves the way for the dismissed Congress government of Nabam Tuki to return to power and sets aside Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa’s message directing the manner of holding the proceedings of sixth session of the Assembly scheduled from January 14, 2016, to December 16-18, 2015.
In its landmark unanimous verdict, a five judge constitution bench, headed by Justice J S Khehar, ordered that status quo ante as prevailed on December 15, 2015 be restored in Arunachal Pradesh Assembly.
Today’s verdict comes as a double whammy for the Modi government after the apex court in May had quashed Centre’s decision to dismiss Harish Rawat government of Uttarakhand.
Congress vice president, Rahul Gandhi, thanked the Supreme Court for ‘explaining to the Prime Minister what democracy is.’
He tweeted, “Thank you Supreme Court for explaining to the Prime Minister what democracy is.”
Thank you Supreme Court for explaining to the Prime Minister what democracy is. #ArunachalPradesh
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) July 13, 2016
Veteran Congress leader and the party’s general secretary, Digvijay Singh, demanded the governor’s resignation.
He tweeted, “Salute to Hon Supreme Court for restoring the duly elected Govt in Arunachal Pradesh. Governor should resign.”
Salute to Hon Supreme Court for restoring the duly elected Govt in Arunachal Pradesh. Governor should resign.
— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) July 13, 2016
Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, who has long been accusing the Modi government of acting unconstitutionally while allegedly harassing his elected government called it a tight slap on ‘dictatorial Modi govt.’
He tweeted, “SC judgment yet another tight slap on dictatorial Modi govt. Hope Modi ji wud learn n now stop interfering in democratically elected govts.”
SC judgment yet another tight slap on dictatorial Modi govt. Hope Modi ji wud learn n now stop interfering in democratically elected govts
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) July 13, 2016
Today’s verdict assumes significant because, not so long ago, the effective number two in Modi government, Arun Jaitley, had flaunted the dismissal of Nabam Tuki’s government of Arunachal Pradesh.
Jaitley, a veteran lawyer himself, had justified the dismissal by calling it a sign of beginning of Congress-mukt India.
He had said, “Modiji once called for a Congress-free India. Congress has already gone out of Arunachal Pradesh. It can lose its government in Uttarakhand any day. In upcoming Kerala and Assam elections there are clear signals that it will wind up. Indian voters will convert Modiji’s slogan for Congress-free India into reality. We are headed in that direction.”
There’s little doubt that the opposition parties will now gun for his resignation as well.