Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa, who had refused to step down from his post as Arunachal Pradesh Governor, was on Monday removed by President Pranab Mukherjee. Meghalaya Governor V. Shanmuganathan has been given additional charge of the state, a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said.
“The President has directed that J.P. Rajkhowa shall cease to hold the office of the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh and has appointed V. Shanmuganathan, Governor of Meghalaya, to discharge the functions of the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, in addition to his own duties, until regular arrangements for the office of the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh are made,” said the communique.
Rajkhowa, a former IAS officer of Assam cadre, was appointed Governor of the border state on May 12, 2015 during the rule of the National Democratic Alliance government. Rajkhowa had told the media earlier in September that he has been asked to put in his papers on health grounds but he will not do so as he was fully fit.
Rajkhowa, a former Chief Secretary of Assam, had sparked off a row by his decision to prepone the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly session from January 14, 2016 to December 16, 2015 to conduct the floor test of the then Nabam Tuki government. The Congress government had resisted holding the session on the Assembly premises and it was later held in a community hall and was attended by rebel Congress MLAs, besides two independents and BJP MLAs.
However, the Supreme Court in July, 2016 directed restoration of the status quo ante as it existed on December 15, 2015, restoring the Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh. The court quashed Governor J.P. Rajkhowa's decision to advance the assembly session by a month and said the Governor “cannot interfere in the activities of the assembly”.
The court quashed the President's Rule imposed in the state and all the decisions taken by Governor J.P. Rajkhowa leading to imposition and formation of a new government led by a breakaway faction of the Congress.