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Khandu Replaces Tuki as Cong Legislature Party Chief, May Be New Arunachal CM

By: Subhajit Sengupta

CNN-News18

Last Updated: July 16, 2016, 14:17 IST

File Image of Pema Khandu ( Courtesy: Twitter)

File Image of Pema Khandu ( Courtesy: Twitter)

Tuki has resigned from the post will pave the way for Khandu to take over as Chief Minister if the Congress wins the trust vote later in the day.

In a strategic move to win back rebels within the party, the Congress on Saturday appointed Pema Khandu as the leader of Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in Arunachal Pradesh replacing Chief Minister Nabam Tuki.

Sources within the party have confirmed that the rebels including the former CM Kalikho Pul are ready to back Khandu after they had challenged Nabam Tuki's candidacy.

Meanwhile CM Tuki resigned from the post of CLP on Saturday and has paved the way for Khandu to take over as Chief Minister if the Congress wins the trust vote later in the day.

Speaking to reporters after the CLP meeting, Khandu asserted that he has the numbers to stake claim for a new government in the state.

"We have the support of 45 Congress MLAs and two independents in the state. We have staked claim to form the new government," Khandu told CNN-News18.

"Nabam Tuki has resigned from the post of Chief Minister and as the leader of Congress Legislature Party (CLP). I have been appointed as the new leader of the CLP," Khandu added.

Speaking about the floor test Khandu said that the governor has not given any clarity over the issue and it now depends of him whether he wants to hold the floor test.

Nabam Tuki too confirmed the recent developments and said the move has been taken to keep the Congress party united.

Tuki also denied all the charges against him and termed them as "baseless", adding that former CM Kalikho Pul too has extended his support to Pema Khandu.

The sudden move is seen as Congress' last bid to save Arunachal Pradesh after the Supreme Court ordered restoration of the Congress government in the state by quashing as "unconstitutional" Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa's decision to advance the assembly session.

The court had slammed the governor and told him that he cannot embroil himself in any "political thicket" or take "individual call" when an elected government enjoys majority in the House.

Former Chief Minister Kalikho Pul, who had unseated Tuki in February this year with the help of a faction of dissident Congress legislators and BJP members, claimed that he has got the support of 42 legislators in the 60-member house, whose effective strength is 58 now after two members resigned earlier.

(With inputs from IANS)

first published:July 16, 2016, 11:39 IST
last updated:July 16, 2016, 14:17 IST