oppn parties Providing Governance To A Sensitive Border State

News Snippets

  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
  • Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress postpone meeting the governor of Maharashtra
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
Providing Governance To A Sensitive Border State

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The Centre’s decision to impose President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh has been criticized on three major points: first, that it throws a sensitive border state into political uncertainty; second, that it shows scant respect for the judiciary as the matter was pending before the Supreme Court and three, that it was a misuse of Article 356 of the Constitution.

Let us take the last point first. The Governor submitted a report to the Union government which gave an assessment of the political situation in the state. According to him, there was a political crisis in the state as the elected government had lost many of its supporters through defections. Now, although the floor of the assembly is the best place to test whether the government of the day enjoyed majority support, the elected government of Arunachal Pradesh had been unable to convene a meeting of the house for long. With court cases going on, how long could the state remain ungoverned? Hence, his reading of the situation was technically correct. That the President signed the proclamation means that he too agreed with the Governor’s assessment.

Which is better, letting political uncertainty reign in a sensitive border state or to bring it under President’s rule? It was the Congress high command that had ignored rebel MLA’s who had been complaining since a long time against Chief Minister Nabam Tuki. If they left the party and precipitated the political crisis, it was only due to the mismanagement by the Congress high command. Having been unable to keep its own house in order, it is now accusing the state BJP of engineering defections and the Centre of misusing Article 356.

Finally, it is true that the Supreme Court is hearing the matter of “impeachment” of the Speaker by a session of the assembly convened by the Governor. Ideally, the Centre should have waited till the apex court had decided the matter. But if the Centre thought that the matter needed legislative remedy, it followed the constitution in letter, if not in spirit. The Centre must now ensure that there is no horse trading and a BJP government, propped up by Congress rebels and others, is not installed in the state. There should be fresh elections, if need be. The Centre has not thrown Arunachal into political uncertainty – on the contrary, it has moved to provide governance to the state as it was without a functioning government for the last few months.

There is one more point to consider. President’s rule in any state has to be ratified by both houses of parliament before the expiry of two months. How will the NDA get it ratified in the Rajya Sabha, where it is woefully short of numbers? Further, this issue will provide fodder to an opposition bent on preventing the government from getting any meaningful business done in parliament. Are we going to witness another wasted session of parliament in the budget session?