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Messy Aruchal Politics

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  19 Dec 2015 12:00 AM GMT

We have an extremely messy political situation in Aruchal Pradesh following 33 MLAs of a 60- member House demanding the Speaker’s removal, the government ordering the complete shutdown of the Assembly premises and the rebel legislators holding an Assembly session elsewhere in order to impeach the Speaker and to elect a new leader of the Assembly. In a sense, the entire situation could perhaps have been avoided by not advancing the predetermined date for the Assembly session and the rebel lawmakers abstaining from a parallel Assembly elsewhere. What is indeed significant is that 20 dissidents Congress MLAs should have joined hands with 11 BJP MLAs in a polity where the Congress has always held the BJP to be untouchable on charges of commulism. As such, the Congress complaint to President Prab Mukherjee on Wednesday that Aruchal Pradesh Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa was trying to destabilize the government might well be countered with a question as to why the Congress with 47 MLAs in the House was uble to keep the fold intact. Considering that the Congress had held more than 75 per cent of the seats to start with, there should be considerable introspection as to why 20 Congress MLAs should have rebelled and joined hands with the 11 BJP MLAs and two Independent members.

Be that as it may, there is every good reason to ask why the Governor of the State should have issued a suo moto directive advancing the date of the Assembly session. MPs of the Rajya Sabha can hardly be blamed for imputing motives for such an action and alleging that this action was calculated to topple the Congress government in the State. The main criticism against the Governor hinges on the fact that the Aruchal Pradesh Assembly had been adjourned till January 2016 and that under the provisions of the Constitution the Governor had no right to reconvene it ahead of that date. According to the Constitution, it is only when the Council of Ministers passes the proposal that an Assembly session can be convened. In his defence, the Aruchal Pradesh Governor has been talking about who has the authority to interpret the Constitution. He says only the Supreme Court and the high courts have the authority to do so. But if the Constitution has to be interpreted every day for all kinds of situations, administration in the country would come to a standstill. What good administration requires is the proper implementation of the Constitution. And by now the Governor of Aruchal Pradesh should have had his answer in the verdict of the Gauhati High Court that has stayed the decisions of the Assembly session held outside the Assembly premises impeaching the Speaker and ming Kalikho Pul as the new leader of the Assembly. The entire issue is really much simpler than it is made out to be. One cannot have a session of the Parliament in a marketplace. The same alogy holds good for what is permissible for an Assembly session. Parliament House as well as the Legislative Assemblies of the States have been built with considerable expense because there is supposed to be a certain sanctity about the sessions of Parliament and of the Legislative Assemblies. In any case, a meeting of lawmakers to conduct legislative business outside the proper place for it cannot be regarded as a legal meeting even if the majority of the lawmakers is present at such a meeting. Quite obviously, then, such a meeting held outside the House cannot go about impeaching the Speaker and electing a new Chief Minister as though the existing one has ceased to exist. There has to be a limit to improprieties committed in the me of politics. If our politicians realized that performance is the key to survival in the polity, many of the crooked artifices employed for survival in politics would become redundant.

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