Prez rule in Arunachal, oppn cries ‘murder’ of democracy

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President Pranab Mukherjee tonight endorsed the Union Cabinet’s decision and brought Arunachal Pradesh under central rule after more than a month of political turmoil and in the midst of a raging battle in the Supreme Court, a decision that was attacked by Congress and other parties which called it “murder” of democracy.After intense consultations over the last two days, Mukherjee signed the proclamation imposing the central rule, accepting the ground that there was a “constitutional breakdown” in the state.

The President, who had called Home Minister Rajnath Singh yesterday and raised some queries with him on the urgency of bringing the state under central rule, was apparently satisfied with the government’s view that there was a breakdown of the constitutional machinery following the political instability.

“Taking cognisance of the constitutional breakdown that has taken place in the state of Arunachal Pradesh as reported by the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, the Union Cabinet in its meeting held on January 24, 2016 had recommended to the President of India to issue such a proclamation,” said a Home Ministry statement.

It said the President has signed a Proclamation under Article 356 (1) of the Constitution, imposing President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh and keeping the Legislative Assembly of the state in suspended animation with effect from today.

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

Minister of State for Home Kirren 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.

Congress, JD-U, CPI and AAP attacked the Centre’s decision as “murder” of democracy and federalism and accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of “insulting” the highest court of the country that is right now hearing the matter.

BJP, however, defended the decision saying it needs to be seen from multiple perspectives and is as per Constitutional mandate and in turn accused the Congress of politicising the issue.

“This is murder of democracy…  The matter is sub-judice and government has acted in haste. It is a clear-cut insult to the highest court of the land.  Democracy has been murdered,” Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal compared the imposition of President’s rule to an Emergency-like condition.

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