NEW DELHI: Two months after winning back Uttarakhand, the Congress scored another legal victory today as the Supreme Court turned the clock back and restored its government in Arunachal Pradesh, calling the decisions leading to its dismissal “illegal and unconstitutional”.
Here are 10 developments in the story:
- The Supreme Court said Arunachal would go back to the status of December 15 when the Congress was still in power. The state had been under President’s Rule since January 26.
- “Thank you Supreme Court for explaining to the Prime Minister what democracy is,”Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi tweeted.
- Nabam Tuki, who was chief minister of the dismissed Congress government, has to face a floor test; almost half the Congress lawmakers in the state rebelled against him and are now a part of a government formed with BJP support under Congress dissident Kalikho Pul.
- “The government is run by numbers. The court doesn’t run the government, numbers do.My government will remain,” a defiant Kalikho Pul said on the court order.
- The Congress government was dismissed in an assembly session called in December by Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa, a month before scheduled, after 21 of 47 Congress lawmakers rebelled against the chief minister.
- In a dramatic assembly session held at a community centre and a hotel – the assembly building had been locked up on Speaker Nabam Rebia’s orders – opposition legislators along with the rebels “removed” Mr Tuki. The Speaker challenged in court the governor’s right to call a session.
- In February, Kalikho Pul was sworn in as Chief Minister with the support of 18 rebels and 11 BJP legislators.
- The court said all decisions taken by the Arunachal assembly after December 9, when the governor called the session, are “quashed and unsustainable.”
- “The Governor must remain aloof from any disagreement, discord, disharmony, discontent or dissension, within individual political parties,” the court said.
- Another Supreme Court verdict had, in May, returned the Congress to power in Uttarakhand after President’s Rule was controversially enforced in the hill state.