New Delhi: There will be no change in Arunachal Pradesh’s governance till Thursday, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday.

Directing status quo on the issue, the court called for documents on the disqualification of 14 Congress legislators from the assembly. At present, the state is under President’s rule.

On 15 December 2015, Nabam Rebia, speaker of the Arunachal Pradesh assembly, disqualified 14 legislators, including deputy speaker Kalikho Pul, for snapping ties with the Congress and refusing to stay in touch with the party leaders.

A five-judge bench, comprising justices J.S. Khehar, Dipak Misra, Madan B. Lokur, P.C. Ghose and N.V. Ramana, called for the original records from the Gauhati high court as well as the secretary of the state assembly to assess if appropriate notices for removal of the 14 legislators were given by the speaker.

The court’s order came on a day when the Union cabinet recommended revoking President’s rule in the state, according to a Press Trust of India report.

The Congress in Arunachal Pradesh is worried that a new government will be sworn in by governor J.P. Rajkhowa once the President’s rule is revoked.

The court had earlier refused an interim order stalling any action by the governor in this regard. On the day, attorney general Mukul Rohatgi told the court that any such order would be a restraint on the President, which could not be done.

The apex court will now look at the validity of these disqualifications on Thursday.

Meanwhile, rebel leader Kalikho Pul met governor Rajkhowa with 30 rebel MLAs on Wednesday, and urged him to start the government formation process.

Pul has the support of 19 rebel legislators of Congress and 11 of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“The BJP has decided to provide outside support to the rebel MLAs and form the government. The legislative party of the BJP had met and taken a decision," said a senior leader of the BJP from Arunachal Pradesh.

Senior Congress leaders had met President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday and submitted a memorandum on the political crisis in Arunachal Pradesh. The Congress has decided to raise the issue in the upcoming budget session of Parliament that is expected to start on 23 February.

The tussle between the Congress and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has the potential to not only disrupt the Parliament session, but also derail the reform agenda of the government.

The NDA needs support of the Congress, especially in the Rajya Sabha, to pass crucial bills, including the constitutional amendment bill to roll out goods and service tax (GST) and the real estate bill.

The constitutional crisis in Arunachal Pradesh had started after 21 legislators of the Congress rebelled against former chief minister Nabam Tuki. The Congress, which had support of 47 legislators in the 60-member assembly, is now left with only 26 of them. The BJP, along with two independent legislators, has backed the rebel leaders of the Congress to form a government under Pul’s leadership.

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