NEW DELHI: In a dramatic turn of events, the Congress party in Arunachal Pradesh is all set to take the floor test today.
The turnaround in the party’s stand comes after 20 rebel lawmakers sent feelers to return to the Congress fold on the condition that there would be a leadership change. If these rebel lawmakers support the Congress, the party strength in the 60-member assembly would increase to 35 lawmakers and help it achieve a comfortable majority.
The meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) is underway where Nabam Tuki himself may propose the name of his successor.
“There are two names Pema Khandu and Chowna Mien. Ultimately, the lawmakers will have to choose a leader,” said a source in the Congress.
On Friday afternoon, Chief Minister Nabam Tuki had requested the Governor for 10 days to take the floor test. Even the Arunachal Assembly Speaker Nabam Rebia too had indicated that he was not in a position to hold a floor test.
The Congress’s U-turn also prompted the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker Nabam Rebia to prepare for a floor test this afternoon.
Sources in the Speaker’s secretariat said that the floor trust has been scheduled at 1pm.
“If the His Excellency, the Governor, has asked it, we will discharge it,” Nabam Rebia, the Speaker said. This statement is a complete U-turn of his earlier statement when he said, “It is nearly impossible to hold the floor test.”
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled that a series of decisions taken between December and March which included placing Arunachal Pradesh under President’s Rule were illegal. The judges set the clock back to when Mr Tuki headed the government.
The top court, in an unprecedented move, ordered the removal of Congress dissident Kalikho Pul, who had taken over as Chief Minister in February, supported by other Congress rebels as well as the BJP.
The Congress after a series of electoral defeats, now governs just six states including Arunachal Pradesh.