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Nabam Tuki: New govt ‘highly illegal’, ‘unconstitutional’

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Itanagar: Recently-ended tenure of Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki lead to the official describing the Kalikho Pul-led government as “highly illegal” and “unconstitutional” on Sunday. He further blamed the Modi-led government for destabilizing his democratically elected government.

“They (central government) pulled down my government and proclaimed President’s Rule citing the breakdown of law and order. They will try to destabilize governments in non-BJP-ruled states by imposing Article 356 and then installing an ‘unconstitutional’ government like they did in Arunachal,” said Tuki.

“Why don’t they impose President’s Rule in BJP-ruled states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra where the governments have failed to tackle suicide of farmers, job scam and other issues?” the veteran Congress leader quipped.

Criticizing Governor J P Rajkhowa for administering Kalikho Pul’s oath as chief minister, Tuki said: “As per parliamentary convention, the governor should invite the single majority party to form the government.

“But in this case, the governor administered the oath of office and secrecy to Pul who is not even the leader of the Congress Legislature Party besides knowing that the matter is pending in the court. Isn’t the governor misusing his office? This does not augur well in our parliamentary democracy.”

The former chief minister also demanded the removal of Rajkhowa as the governor.

“Instead of safeguarding the constitution, he murdered democracy and the constitution for his own political interests, knowing the simplicity of the indigenous people in Arunachal.”

Pul, leading the pack of 19 rebel Congress camp, was sworn in as the eighth chief minister on Friday night.

The BJP, which has 11 members in the 60-member Arunachal assembly, has extended outside support to Pul. Two independent legislators are also supporting the 19 rebel Congress legislators.

But sources close to the rebel Congress camp claimed that nine Tuki loyalists are set to shift their allegiance to Pul.

Claiming that he still enjoys majority in the house, Tuki, the first Christian to be the Arunachal chief minister, said: “With the disqualification of 16 legislators, the effective strength of the house is only 44. Of these, 26 MLAs are with me and my government and, therefore, I still enjoy the majority.”

He also described the formation of the new government as “highly illegal” and “unconstitutional” since Pul had not been elected leader of the Congress Legislature Party.

“The Congress cannot take the support of the BJP in forming a government. The Congress does not subscribe to the BJP ideology. Therefore, the new government cannot be a Congress government.

“We will not allow this unholy alliance to continue. We will continue to fight for justice in the court of law.”

Meanwhile, Pasang Dorjee Sona, one of the 19 rebel Congress legislators, held Congress leader V Narayanasamy responsible for the political mess in the state.

“It was Narayanasamy, in-charge of party affairs in the state, who is responsible for the mess in the state. He never allowed us to meet and share our grievances with Congress president (Sonia Gandhi) and vice-president (Rahul Gandhi),” Pasang told reporters.

“We have to work with the BJP in the interest of the people of the state. Governance has nothing to do with political ideology. Good governance and development of the state come first,” Pasang said. (IANS)

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Why JDU & BJP Coalition Will Remain Intact

JDU knows that this 15-16% votes is not enough to help the party and for the BJP too, only the 17% votes of upper castes are not sufficient

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Nitish Kumar with Narendra Modi.
Nitish Kumar with Narendra Modi.

By Sagarneel Sinha

There have been lots of discussions among the political circles that JDU led by Bihar Chief
Minister Nitish Kumar is upset with the BJP and trying to send signals to erst allies — RJD and the Congress. This led to speculations that Nitish may once again join the Grand Alliance (GA) leaving the NDA camp. Already, RJD’s new commander Tejasvi Yadav has clearly stated that Nitish led JDU will not be welcomed in the GA. Despite all the odds, if (suppose) GA partners accommodate Nitish, he wouldn’t be the driving force of the alliance as in 2015. Also, Nitish cannot afford to go alone like in 2014 when his party fetched only 2 seats!

Then which is the correct way for JDU? It is to go with the BJP in the upcoming 2019 polls.
JDU’s advantage in this case is the present situation of the BJP. Currently, the saffron party is not in a strong position as the party would be facing anti-incumbency from a strong RJD led alliance in the state. BJP’s traditional voters are the upper castes who account for 17% of the electorate. This votebank is not enough for the party to help to win elections. The main opposition party — RJD still commands over a larger votebank than BJP. RJD is still a dominant force among the Yadavs and the Muslims who account for 31% of the population. It means BJP has to minus the 31% votes and rely on the rest — 69%. Out of these, 16% are the Mahadalits — a large portion of whom generally hail Nitish Kumar as their leader. Also, there are Kurmis, an OBC group consisting of 4% votes — considered as the supporters of JDU. Nitish Kumar himself is also a Kurmi.

Nitish Kumar Invited to Join NDA by Amit Shah After JDU-BJP Tie-up in Bihar
Nitish Kumar Invited to Join NDA by Amit Shah After JDU-BJP Tie-up in Bihar.

JDU knows that this 15-16% votes is not enough to help the party and for the BJP too, only the 17% votes of upper castes are not sufficient. However, if these votebanks are joined together they form around 31-32%. Plus, to gain the extra votes, both the parties have the option to rely on the personal charisma of Nitish Kumar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, there is a power tussle between the two allies to get a respectable share of seats.

This power tussle is because of a strong BJP which earlier used to be a junior ally. The 2014 Lok Sabha elections changed the political scenario of the state where BJP emerged as the largest party in terms of vote share and seats. JDU knows the reality of a new emerging BJP, though it is pushing hard to gain a respectable share of seats for the Lok Sabha elections. Instead, Nitish Kumar has another option — giving the bigger chunk to the BJP for the Lok Sabha elections and the latter playing the junior partner for the 2020 assembly elections if held timely. Given the current situation in the country, in a crucial state like Bihar, BJP can hardly reject JDU as the later still commands over 15-16% votes — a very crucial votebank for winning maximum seats in the 2019 polls. Importance of JDU can also be explained by BJP president Amit Shah’s visit to Patna to have breakfast and dinner with Nitish Kumar. Though in politics there are no permanent friends or foes, so any perfect prediction is impossible. But given the current situation, JDU and BJP parting their ways seems unlikely as both the parties are in need of each other as already highlighted by Amit Shah that the two allies would fight the Lok Sabha elections together. Smiling face of Nitish Kumar was also an indication that the meetings with Amit Shah were fine.