Arunachal verdict: CPI (M) taunts Modi Govt.'s 'authoritarian approach'

| Updated: Jul 14, 2016 00:15 IST

New Delhi, July 13 (ANI): The CPI (M) on Wednesday said the Supreme Court verdict on Arunachal Pradesh is a clear indication of the fact that the BJP-led Centre had taken an illegal and unconstitutional step through the Governor in dismissing or removing the elected state government. Karat told ANI the apex court's verdict has upheld the constitutional position regarding the rights of the states. "The Central Government had taken an illegal and unconstitutional step through the Governor in dismissing or removing the elected government of Arunachal Pradesh. And for the first time, the Supreme Court has restored that government even after another government has been sworn-in. I think this is very good step taken by the Supreme Court," he added. Karat further said the higher judiciary has in both cases of Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh upheld the constitutional position. "This is a serious reflection on the authoritarian approach of the Modi Government and I think the government should now hold those who have taken this action accountable, including the Governors, who have acted against the Constitution," said Karat. "They are constitutional authorities and I think, there must be, put a check on this, accountability has to be there," he added. When asked whether Arunachal Pradesh Governor J.P. Rajkhowa should step down post this verdict, Karat said, "I don't see how the Arunachal Pradesh Governor can continue after this, but this also brings to the question of the wider issue of the use of Article 356. Our party has been demanding that Article 356 be scrapped from the Constitution." President's rule refers to the imposition of Article 356 of the Constitution of India on a state whose constitutional machinery has failed. In the event that a state government is not able to function as per the Constitution, the state comes under the direct control of the Centre. Subsequently, executive authority is exercised through the centrally appointed Governor. Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, however, attempted to downplay the criticism post the verdict. "Nobody has right to comment on the Supreme Court verdict.One must honour the Supreme Court verdict. As far as the numbers are concerned, it is all decided on the floor of the assembly. There is no meaning of commenting on the same from outside," Rijiju said. In a major setback to the BJP-ruled Centre, the Supreme Court earlier today restored the Nabam Tuki-led Congress Government in Arunachal Pradesh. A five-judge Constitution Bench quashed all the decisions of the Governor that had led to imposition of the President's Rule in the state, calling his actions as "illegal" and violative of the Constitutional provisions. Arunachal Pradesh had been under President's Rule since January 26. Nabam Tuki-led Congress government was dismissed following days of turmoil after 21 of its 47 lawmakers rebelled against the chief minister. The Congress, which had 47 MLAs seats in the 60-member assembly, suffered a jolt when 21 of its lawmakers rebelled. Eleven BJP MLAs backed the rebels in the bid to upstage the government. Later, 14 rebel Congress MLAs were disqualified. The leader of the dissident faction, Kalikho Pul, was sworn-in as the chief minister on February 19 with the support of the 20 Congress rebels and 11 legislators of the BJP. (ANI)