President approves central rule in Arunachal Pradesh, Congress protests

New Delhi, Jan 26: Arunachal Pradesh today came under central rule with President Pranab Mukherjee giving assent to the Union Cabinet's recommendation on such a course following political instability in the state.

Official sources said the President signed the proclamation two days after the cabinet held an unscheduled meeting on Sunday to recommend that the northeasten border state be brought under central rule.

Arunachal comes under President's rule

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju had said the cabinet was forced to take the decision because of a Constitutional breakdown as six months had lapsed between two sessions of the state Assembly.

Yesterday Mukherjee called Home Minister Rajnath Singh and put some queries to him on the need for the imposition of President's rule even as Congress, the ruling party in the state, met him and opposed the cabinet decision.

The party urged the President not to give assent to the cabinet decision saying the issue was before the Supreme Court which has decided to hear the Congress petition tomorrow.

Other major opposition parties had also attacked the Centre's decision saying it amounted to "murder" of democracy while the BJP said the crisis was of Congress' making because it had lost numbers in the Assembly.

Arunachal Pradesh has been rocked by a political crisis since December 16 last year when 21 rebel Congress MLAs joined hands with 11 of BJP and two independents to 'impeach' Assembly Speaker Nabam Rebia at a makeshift venue, in a move branded as "illegal and unconstitutional" by the Speaker.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court decided to hear on January 27 the Congress plea challenging the Cabinet decision. The petition seeking urgent hearing was mentioned before Chief Justice T S Thakur, at his residence, who directed the matter to be listed for hearing on Wednesday.


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