[OPINION] Incredible Arunachal verdict: What’s in store for Tuki & Pul?

It would be interesting to see in the coming days how the power centres cope to the Supreme Court judgment – which in all sense is a landmark one
It would be interesting to see in the coming days how the power centres cope to the Supreme Court judgment – which in all sense is a landmark one

Supreme Court’s verdict on Arunachal Pradesh came as a reason to rejoice for the Congress party which until recently was bogged down in the region with the defeat in Assam and the consolidation of opposing power in the form of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA).

Ironically, while the BJP president Amit Shah was launching NEDA, the group of non-Congress parties, in Guwahati – with many like NEDA convener Himanta Biswa Sarma live-tweeting the event – in the national capital, the Supreme Court was scripting something else for Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Kalikho Pul. The chief minister, who came to power riding on the support of a fraction of the Congress party members and 11 BJP MLAs, during the course of the NEDA meet itself found that he was no more in power, courtesy Supreme Court of India!

While the thumping Congress leaders and the opposition in New Delhi rushed to give bytes to television channels and tweet about how it’s a victory of democracy in India, Arunachal Pradesh – which often goes unnoticed in the media – basked in some much awaited glory! Tweets started pouring in and most of the top trends on the social media proved Arunachal was being talked about.

Does the apex court verdict qualify to be termed as ‘victory for democracy’? Why almost each and every supporter of the grand old party started tweeting, posting, screaming and poking the ‘fact’ that this indeed is a victory for democracy in India? Since when Arunachal became such an occasion for the national leaders, be it of any party, to celebrate?

It will be interesting to see how further developments in the state get covered in the national media. Will the media coverage die a silent death after the initial upsurge or will the media push the envelope this time. As the state goes into yet another political crisis, it needs to be seen how and who will become the ‘legitimate’ chief minister next. For the Congress, it is a situation where they should try to form the government. They have the moral right now. But for the new ‘opposition’, the numbers tell they are at the front. Or are they?

Numbers… It will be interesting to see how the 60 seats of the state Assembly are coloured this time. 14 disqualified, 11 of the BJP, handful of ‘Congress rebels’… Are we on the brink of yet another election? If yes, the 11 BJP MLAs – who tasted power for the first time – would be wondering, what is in our stars?

The whole fiasco in the state led to establishment of many power centers, besides Khaliko Pul emerging as the challenger to the then chief minister Nabam Tuki. One of the biggest beneficiaries of this shift of power was Chowna Mein, deputy chief minister in the Khaliko Pul government. It would be interesting to see in the coming days how the power centres cope to the Supreme Court judgment – which in all sense is a landmark one.

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Jayanta Deka is a Guwahati-based journalist with more than 5 years of experience working with the Times of India. Tracking new media, technology and politics interest him. He can be reached through: