Pema Khandu emerges as front runner for Arunachal CM's post

| Updated: Jul 16, 2016 16:39 IST

Itanagar, July 16 (ANI): Ahead of Saturday's floor test, the Arunachal Pradesh state Assembly, the Congress Legislature Party (CLP), has decided to change the leadership from Nabam Tuki to Pema Khandu. Should the Congress win the floor test, Khandu is most likely to become the next chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh. "You all know that the CLP is in agreement and Pema Khandu will be sworn in as the chief minister," Congress MLA Kameng Dolo here. A meeting is currently underway following acting Governor Tathagatha Roy's directive to hold the floor test today. Rebel Congress MLAs are also present at the meeting. Rejecting Tuki's request to provide some more time to hold the floor test to prove his majority, Governor Tathagata Roy said the floor test would go ahead as secheduled. Tuki, addressing a letter to the Governor had sought at least ten days time from for the floor test, but Governor Roy declined his request stating that in the view of upcoming monsoon, which might lead to rainfall and landslides, the deferment of floor test will be difficult. "I thank you and your Home Minister for your kind visit to the Raj Bhawan on 15.7.2016 at 1 p.m. I congratulate you on your resumption as Chief Minister in obedience of the Hon'ble Supreme Court's orders. I have given my most careful consideration to your request for not summoning the state legislative assembly for the purpose of proving your majority on the floor of the House," the letter said. "I regret I am not in a position to agree with your submission made in your above letters and during our meeting. You appear to have contended that the notice given to you for summoning the Assembly is too short, for certain reason," it added. Governor Roy further said that with the means of transport and communication now available, he does not see much difficulty in the MLAs attending a session of July 16. "Monsoon will not abate as day go on but will intensify. These may lead to landslides and/or heavy fog in the coming days. Thus it is quite possible that granting more time may worsen things," he added. "I do not consider this to be a serious objection at all. We all do things on holidays when circumstances so warrant," he added. The Governor's directive came a day after the Supreme Court, in a historic verdict on Wednesday, restored Tuki as Chief Minister, a position he lost last December when Congress rebels, backed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), staged a coup. Tuki-led Congress government was dismissed following days of turmoil after 21 of its 47 legislators rebelled against the chief minister. Eleven BJP MLAs backed the rebels in the bid to upstage the government. Later, 14 rebel Congress MLAs were disqualified. (ANI)