Acting Arunachal Pradesh governor Tathagata Roy on Thursday asked Nabam Tuki to prove his majority in the state assembly by Saturday after informing him that he stands reinstated as the chief minister. Tuki has sought 10-15 days.
Tuki, who had assumed charge as CM in Delhi’s Arunachal Bhavan hours after the Supreme Court’s verdict on Wednesday, flew back to Itanagar on Thursday afternoon. From the helipad, he drove straight to the chief minister’s office at 3:45 pm and took the guard of honour.
Tuki got down to business, signing a few files, the first of which was to grant R7.5 lakh for the treatment of Punyo Tamo of Hong village in Lower Subansiri district. Tamo is suffering from kidney disorder.
“I will win the floor test, but I need 10-15 days’ time because many MLAs are away and they cannot come to Itanagar by Saturday because of the difficult topography and communication bottlenecks,” Tuki told Hindustan Times in his office.
“The Supreme Court’s order to maintain status quo ante as on December 15 means the MLAs who went away to PPA (People’s Party of Arunachal) are now Congress members,” Tuki said.
The chief minister said the assembly strength as on December 15 was 58 with two MLAs have resigned earlier. “The SC order means there are no PPA members, and so the Congress strength is now 45 as it was then. I have appealed to those who joined the other camp to return and take part in the floor test. All of them will have to abide by decision of the Congress Legislature Party,” Tuki said.
Pul and 29 other PPA legislators are camping in Guwahati. Thirteen other MLAs, including 11 of BJP who went to Assam for a two-day conclave, are also away.
If the PPA members fail to turn up for the floor test, Tuki can be declared winner on the basis of the number of MLAs present in the house. If they attend and vote against Tuki, reinstated speaker Nabam Rebia can disqualify them for defying the party whip.
Rebia, “impeached” by Congress rebels during the controversial December 16-17 assembly session, resumed charge as speaker on Wednesday evening. “I shall be writing to the governor to give us more time for the floor test,” he said.