ITANAGAR, Dec 27 - High-voltage political drama involving Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa capped an eventful 2015 in Arunachal Pradesh.
Resurfacing of contentious Chakma-Hajong refugee issues, controversy on construction of green field airport project, a chopper crash, alleged financial mismanagement and protest against China�s move to depict Arunachal Pradesh as part of its territory, were some of the other issues that hogged limelight during 2015.
The Congress Government in the frontier State faced the heat of rebellion from 21 party MLAs out of total 47 during the year. 21 MLAs including six Ministers joined hands with former Finance Minister Kalikho Pul to try and topple Chief Minister Nabam Tuki.
Controversy erupted in the State when Rajkhowa on December 9 advanced the Winter session of the Assembly to December 16 from January 14, 2016 which evoked strong protest from the Tuki camp and also several mass-based organisations.
The Governor called the session with directives to Deputy Speaker T Norbu Thongdok to preside over it and take up the impeachment motion notice served by 11 BJP and two Independent MLAs against Speaker Nabam Rebia.
Tuki supported by nine Cabinet Ministers along with 16 Congress members decided not to attend the three-day session terming it as �arbitrary and against the Constitution�.
Surprisingly, the Speaker on December 15 in an order disqualified 14 rebel MLAs including Thongdok from the House under the clause of anti-defection law.
However, during the first day of the session, the rebel group convened the session in two makeshift venues and impeached Rebia and elected dissident leader Pul as the new leader of the House.
Providing a breather to Tuki, the Gauhati High Court on December 17 stayed the proceedings of the Assembly and Governor�s order till February 1 next year.
The rebellion started immediately after Arunachal Pradesh Congress president Padi Richo expelled Pul from the party on April 2 for a period of six years for alleged anti-party activities. However, the expulsion was later stayed after Pul won the legal battle.
The decades-old Chakma-Hajong refugee imbroglio resurfaced after the Supreme Court in its September 17 order directed the Centre and Arunachal Pradesh Government to provide permanent settlement to the refugees in the State.
The apex court�s order sparked widespread protests led by All Arunachal Pradesh Students� Union (AAPSU). The State Government as well as AAPSU filed two review petitions in the Supreme Court which were dismissed by the court.
The government and AAPSU then decided to file curative petitions in the apex court.
There were also allegations of financial mismanagement to the tune of Rs 581 crore during the year with Opposition BJP organising a public rally here demanding resignation of Tuki for overdrawing the amount forcing the State to plunge into acute financial crisis. The BJP demanded immediate imposition of financial emergency in the State.
Tragedy struck the State when a helicopter of State-run Pawan Hans Helicopter Limited, with crew members Captain MS Brar and Captain Rajiv Hoskote and Tirap Deputy Commissioner Kamlesh Kumar Joshi on board crashed at a site 36 km from the district headquarters immediately after taking off from Khonsa on August 4.
China�s oft-repeated claim over Arunachal�s territory again cropped up during the year with a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman claiming the State as a part of its territory while there was also a wrong depiction of Arunachal in its map.
The AAPSU strongly protested the statement while the ruling Congress reiterated that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India.
The extension of the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act to nine districts of the State during the year by the Union Home Ministry also sparked protests in the State which compelled the Ministry to withdraw it.
The law and order front was not conducive in the State during the year. Three Army personnel died while four others were seriously injured when suspected NSCN militants fired at the convoy at Tupi village along Khonsa-Longding road in Tirap district on April 2.
Suspected NSCN(K) militants opened fire at an Assam Rifles camp at remote Lazu in Tirap district on June 7.
Landslides and flood wrought havoc in the State during the year with over 300 houses damaged and properties worth several crore rupees destroyed. � PTI