In another controversial day of dramatic proceedings in Arunachal Pradesh politics, Opposition BJP and rebel Congress MLAs joined forces to pass a “no confidence” motion against the Nabam Tuki-led Congress government, and to “choose” a rebel Congress MLA as the new chief minister.
A day after they “impeached” Speaker Nabam Rebia in a make-shift “Assembly” premises in a community hall, the opposition and rebels Congress MLAs met at a conference hall of a hotel on Thursday as the Assembly premises have been sealed since yesterday.
Today, a “no confidence” motion by 11 BJP MLAs and two Independent members was “adopted” with deputy speaker T Norbu Thongdok, who is also a rebel Congressman, in the chair.
A total 33 members of the 60-member house, including 20 dissident Congress MLAs, later “elected” another dissident Congressman Kalikho Pul as the new “chief minister” of the state.
The CM Nabam Tuki and his 26 supporting MLAs boycotted the proceedings terming them as “illegal and unconstitutional”.
Thursday’s proceedings were held a new venue as the make-shift premises where Speaker Nabam Rebia was ‘impeached’ on Wednesday night was vandalised by miscreants and the MLAs opposing Tuki were not allowed to enter the Assembly premises by security forces.
As per directive of the Speaker, the district administration has sealed the Assembly premises since on Wednesday.
The MLAs then with “due consent” from Governor JP Rajkhowa shifted the venue to the conference hall of a in Naharlagun.
The “session”, which was chaired by deputy speaker T Norbu Thongdok passed the motion by voice vote and signature consent by 33 members in the absence of 26 Congress MLAs including Tuki and his council of ministers.
Thongdok announced Pul as the “new Leader of the House” and said that the “proceedings” would be sent to the Governor who would ask the new chief minister and his council of ministers to take the oath of office shortly.
The Deputy Speaker said the “composite floor test” was introduced by the Supreme Court of India in the case of Kalyan Singh Vs Jagadambila Pal in the UP assembly, for the first time in the country where members could participate in a no-confidence motion against the government.
“Since the current situation of the state is similar to that of Uttar Pradesh, the motion was brought in accordance to the apex court judgement on a special leave petition No 4498/1998,” Thongdok said.
He added that only maximum six members are required to table such a motion as per laid down norms but in the current session 13 members moved it.
Tabling the “motion”, Leader of the Opposition Tamiyo Taga (of BJP) alleged that since April this year the members of the Assembly have been experiencing lack of confidence in the council of ministers led by Tuki.
“Because of his (Tuki’s) misgovernance and mismanagement, nepotism and corruption, members are gradually withdrawing their support from him.
“It is a Congress government with absolute majority of 47 members but looking at the situation we are compelled to bring this motion,” Taga said.
The opposition leader further alleged that the financial position of the state deteriorated under Tuki while contractors payment, stipends, salaries were not paid.
“The central fund under National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) and State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) have been grossly misused by Tuki. There has been no annual operating plan (AOP) since Tuki took the rein of the state and all development funds have been siphoned off,” he pointed out.
He said, the Tuki government has been reduced to a minority and it has no right to exist for even a single day.
Terming Pul as a capable leader with his vast experience, Taga supported him as the next chief minister of the state.
Seconding the motion, senior BJP member Japu Deru said the Nabam Tuki government had failed in all front, while another BJP MLA Laisam Simai echoed similar resentment.
Independent MLA Paknga Bage also extended his support to Pul.
The Deputy Speaker called for chief minister and ministers to participate in the discussion on the motion but they were absent. After the motion was adopted, Thongdok adjourned the house sine die.