The numbers chase begins in Arunachal

The numbers chase begins in Arunachal

The numbers chase begins in Arunachal

The BJP believes rebel Congress leader Kalikho Pul's People's Party has adequate numbers to form the government again in Arunachal Pradesh.

Governor Tathagata Roy asked Nabam Tuki, reinstated as the chief minister on Wednesday following the Supreme Court verdict, to take a floor test by Saturday to prove a majority in the 60-member Assembly.

The BJP-backed Pul claimed to have support of 42 of 60 MLAs, which is more than the majority required to come back to power.

The effective strength of the Assembly is now 58 since Speaker Nabam Rebia had accepted the resignation of two MLAs, BJP sources said.

Pul’s party would require 30 MLAs to cross the halfway mark, which Tuki will find difficult to muster as only 15 Congress MLAs remain with him.

Apart from 30 People’s Party MLAs, 11 of the BJP and two Independents add up to 42, which is more than the majority figure, BJP sources said.

Though the apex court has restored the Congress government, which existed on December 15, 14 rebel Congress MLAs who were disqualified the same day by the Speaker will now be able to vote when Tuki seeks confidence of the House.

Advocate Satyapal Jain, who had argued for the then governor J P Rajkhowa, told DH that the Arunachal Pradesh High Court had stayed the speaker’s decision to disqualify the 14 rebel legislators. And the apex court, pointed out Jain, had refused to entertain a petition to challenge the high court verdict, which means the splinter group of 14 will have the right to vote.

Contrary to reports that the governor got a rap from the courts, Jain said the apex court “did not doubt the bonafide of Rajkhowa” but the judges “have not approved interpretation” of articles cited for recommending President’s Rule.

In fact, Jain said, “If there are strictures in the judgment, they are on the speaker of the Assembly, who is a close relative of Chief Minister Tuki”.

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