Arunachal events, complete disgrace

The formation of a BJP government under Pema Khandu is the culmination of the farcical and manipulative politics being practised in Arunachal Pradesh for more than a year. The BJP has been eyeing the state as part of its project to bring the entire Northeast under its sway. The plan got a boost with the party’s Assembly election victory in Assam and the creation of the North East Democratic Alliance of non-Congress parties. But it is unscrupulous politics, violation of Constitutional norms and use of power and money which has marked the party’s activities in the region. Arunachal Pradesh was the first state in the region to see the worst features of this cynical politics in play, and remains the only one till date to see the toppling game orchestrated at the Centre. The message that it gives to the region and the entire county is negative and dispiriting.

After the Congress government of Nabam Tuki was replaced with the help of dissidents more than a year ago, the state has witnessed only instability and its politics has sunk to newer and newer lows. There have been three chief ministers and a stint of Presidents’s rule, parallel Assembly sessions, disqualifications and counter-actions and impeachments. The murky goings-on also saw the suicide of a former chief minister, Kaliko Pul. Pema Kandu became chief minister after joining the BJP’s ally the People’s Party of Arunachal. Now he has joined the BJP and is officially heading the party’s government in the state. The Supreme Court’s reinstatement of the toppled Congress chief minister and assertion of the best principles of constitutional correctness and propriety in matters relating to the majority of chief ministers and the conduct of state governors eventually did not matter much. The BJP and the central government had a well-laid plan to capture power in the state and pursued it over a period relentlessly, stopping at nothing.

The BJP has now won a victory in the state but the readiness to adopt any tactics to win power and to retain it, to violate the Constitution and the law and even to undermine the orders of the Supreme Court in dubious ways has badly violated the spirit of democracy and vitiated its practice. The BJP is not the only party that has practised this bad politics. It is continuing with a vengeance the wrong policies once followed by the Congress, but the people are the losers. Governments of other states in the region will feel more heat now. The practice of such cynical politics is especially bad for the strategically important and sensitive Northeastern region.

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