The Gauhati high court has stayed till Thursday the disqualification of 14 Congress MLAs in Arunachal Pradesh who had revolted against CM Nabam Tuki.
Hearing a petition filed by T Norbu Thongdok, deputy speaker of Arunachal Pradesh assembly, the court granted reprieve for the 14 MLAs who were disqualified by speaker Nabam Rebia ahead of a controversial assembly session convened by governor JP Rajkhowa last month.
On Thursday, the court will also hear the dissident Congress MLAs’ plea for vacating an earlier order that kept the assembly session in abeyance.
“The proceeding on our state’s politics was going on for the second session today but couldn’t go till judgement owing to the death of a Supreme Court judge. But we got a temporary stay and are optimist,” dissident leader and former finance minister Kalikho Pul said on Tuesday.
The Tuki camp had accused Rajkhowa of acting on behalf of the BJP in advancing the assembly session from January 14-16 to December 16-18 in a bid to overthrow his Congress government.
The dissidents claimed the support of 33 MLAs including 11 of BJP and two independents and moved a ‘no-confidence motion’ against Tuki in makeshift ‘assembly’ building – first a badminton court and then a hotel conference hall in Naharlagun. Speaker Rebia subsequently moved court for keeping the session in abeyance till February 1.
The dissidents took the legal course too, and Rebia was restrained from holding any assembly session till January 4.
The Congress has 47 MLAs in the 60-member Arunachal assembly. Trouble for Tuki began four months ago after Pul was expelled last year. Pul and his supporters reportedly sought Tuki’s ouster. Tuki had a face-off with Rajkhowa alongside the dissidence, blaming the latter of using his office to install a BJP-backed government in Arunachal Pradesh.