Bowing to pressure from dissidents, Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Jarbom Gamlin submitted his resignation to governor JJ Singh on Monday afternoon.
Gamlin's replacement is expected to be nominated by All India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, 40 of 42 Congress legislators adopted a single-point resolution authorising Gandhi to appoint the new Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader. The resolution was read out by Union power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, leader of the three-member AICC team that reached state capital Itanagar on Sunday to solve the leadership crisis.
“Gamlin met the governor after the latter arrived from New Delhi in the afternoon. The governor accepted his resignation letter,” said a Raj Bhavan official, declining to be quoted.
Arunachal Pradesh minister and government spokesman Tako Dabi said all the MLAs, irrespective of loyalty, would abide by whatever decision Gandhi takes. “The Speaker of the assembly will write separately to the party high command airing his opinion,” he said.
The names of PWD minister and Pradesh Congress president Nabam Tuki and finance minister Kaliko Pul were being discussed as Gamlin’s likely successor. While Pul is in the Gamlin camp, Tuki had led a group of rebel MLAs to Delhi to pressure the high command for removing Gamlin.
The dissidents cited Gamlin’s failure in controlling law and order as the main reason behind seeking his ouster. They also accused Gamlin of orchestrating the abduction of senior minister Chowna Mein. Gamlin denied the charge vehemently.
Gamlin was power minister in the cabinet of former chief minister Dorjee Khandu who died in a helicopter crash on April 30. His elevation to the ‘hot seat’ on May 5 in ethnically touchy Arunachal Pradesh came as a surprise to many.
The six months since have been thorny for Gamlin, who spent most of his time shuttling between Delhi and Itanagar to keep the party high command updated about the ground situation. The dissidence took a communal colour more than a fortnight ago, spurring the AICC into action.