Guv turns down Tuki's plea for more time

Guv turns down Tuki's plea for more time

Guv turns down Tuki's plea for more time

Arunachal Pradesh acting Governor Tathagata Roy on Friday turned down Chief Minister Nabam Tuki’s request for more time to conduct the floor test in the Assembly.

Roy told Tuki to prove his government’s majority on Saturday. However, the Speaker has not issued any notice to the MLAs for the floor test, official sources said. Speaker Nabam Rebia, sources said, has told the chief minister he cannot call the session on such short notice.

The Congress suffered another setback on Friday when the Itanagar Bench of the Gauhati High Court dismissed a petition filed by the party and refused to intervene in the trust vote, the sources added.

The governor had earlier asked Tuki to prove majority on Saturday. On Thursday night, Tuki wrote to the governor seeking “reasonable time since 48 hours is too less for arranging a floor test, as many MLAs are outside the state”.

In his letter, Tuki also referred to the Sarkaria Commission’s recommendations on holding a floor test and about giving reasonable time for the exercise. He also claimed that the governor setting July 16 as the deadline was “unwarranted”, “inadequate” and a “hasty decision”.

On Friday, capital Itanagar was the theatre of action . Early in the morning, Tuki called a Cabinet meeting, which was attended by three of his colleagues. Nine other ministers are already in former chief minister Kalikho Pul’s camp.

“We discussed the situation in great detail. Even the chief secretary and other top officials were present in the meeting. We discussed the opinion on the issue sent to us by senior advocate of the Supreme Court Kapil Sibal. The Speaker was also consulted. The Cabinet resolved that the chief minister would request the governor to call the session on July 25 or 26,” government spokesperson Bamang Felix told DH.

Later, Tuki, along with Home Minister Tanga Byaling, called on the governor and requested him for at least 10 days’ time to call the Assembly session.

“Being the monsoon season, many MLAs are out of town and not in a position to reach here. Saturday is also a holiday in Arunachal Pradesh and it will be improper to call a session on a holiday. The officers concerned may also be not able to summon the session on time. In case of Uttarakhand, five days’ time was given (for the floor test). We requested the governor to consider these facts,” Tuki told reporters in Itanagar. Late on Friday evening, the governor’s office issued a statement stating that he was firm on having the floor test on Saturday.

“Citing apprehension that the present State Government does not command the required majority in the Assembly, the Governor asked the Chief Minister to prove his majority on the floor of the State Legislative Assembly tomorrow (16th July 2016). He also emphasised that sense of security amongst the people must prevail and deterrent action must be taken to ensure foolproof Law and Order arrangement in the State,” the statement added.

The governor also convened a high-level meeting where he reviewed security issues. In December last year when the political crisis surfaced, roads were blocked and even the Raj Bhavan was cordoned off by Tuki supporters.

Pul, along with the 42 MLAs supporting him, waited all day for the Speaker’s notice on the floor test. “We are ready for the floor test. By its interpretation of the Supreme Court order, the Congress claims we are all its MLAs. Even if that happens, we are ready to defy the party whip and vote against Tuki. We are leaving for Itanagar. We have not received any notice for the session as of now,” former deputy chief minister in Pul’s Cabinet, Chowna Mein, told DH.

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