Arunachal Governor JP Rajkhowa has called for a two-day assembly session, starting today, in which the new chief minister Kalikho pul will have to face a floor test.
Yesterday, Mr Pul called for a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party in state capital Itanagar, which apart from the 18 rebel Congress legislators who are already supporting him, was attended by the nine. The group named Mr Pul as its leader and extended support to him.
This comes as a major blow to the Nabam Tuki-led camp of the party and relief for the rebel Congress group.
Takam Pario, Punji Mara, Gojen Gadi, Jomde Kena, Likha Saaya, Shri Jambey Tashi, Gum Tayeng, Tirong Aboh, Shri Tapak Taku – all Congress legislators who were earlier with the former chief minister, have now extended support to Mr Pul.
In the 58-member Assembly (two legislators have resigned), Mr Pul now has the support of at least 28 Congress legislators, including himself. He also enjoys outside support from 11 BJP legislators and two independents.
The Chief whip of Congress in the state, legislator Rajesh Tacho, had issued a whip to the party’s 45 legislators not to attend the CLP meeting called by Mr Pul, but only 17 legislators stayed away and abided by the Congress high command’s diktat.
Meanwhile, Wangki Lowang, the Congress legislator from Namsang, filed his nomination for the post of Speaker for the state assembly on Wednesday.
The election of the new speaker will also be held today, sources added.