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‘Assembly will decide Pul’s future’

10 more Cong MLAs ready to switch over, claims outgoing CM

Guwahati: Even as the Supreme Court on Wednesday restored the deposed Congress government of Arunachal Pradesh led by chief minister Nabam Tuki , Union minister of State for Home Minister, Kiren Rijiju said here the Union government would abide by the Supreme Court judgment and the matter would now be back in the floor of Arunachal Pradesh Assembly.
Talking to reporters here, Rijiju said, “We will honour the Supreme Court verdict. It is binding on everyone. Everything  now will be decided in the State Assembly. There is no point anyone saying anything on it outside the state Assembly. The government of India had earlier acted on the basis of the report submitted by the Governor.”
Rijiu was here to attend the first conclave of North East  Democratic Alliance floated by BJP along with ten other regional parties from the region.
Kalikho Pul, who was dismissed from his office by a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, said he would file a review petition in the apex court, and exuded confidence that he would be able to continue in power because of the numbers.
“I have not seen the entire verdict. But everything will be finally decided on the floor of the House. I have the numbers on my side. Moreover, my government was not formed in the wake of the December 15-16 developments. I was invited to form the government after I had paraded 32 MLAs before the governor in February,” Pul said in the sidelines of the NEDA conclave on Wednesday.
Pul also said that 10 of the 15 MLAs who were currently with the Congress were also in touch with him to switch over.
“Ten of the 15 Congress MLAs have been in touch with me. They also want to come out,” Pul said.
If that is true then Nabam Tuki, who was ousted from power in an Assembly “session” that was held first in a community hall and then in a hotel on December 16 and 17, would be left with just five MLAs including himself.
“It is good that one chapter has come to an end with the Supreme Court verdict. But while the BJP had only given outside support to Kalikho Pul, it is for the assembly to decide,” said senior Assam BJP  leader Himanta Bishwa Sarma, who is also convenor of the newly-formed NEDA.
“The ball is now in the state assembly and it is now for the MLAs of Arunachal Pradesh to decide. Who remains or becomes chief minister now is subject to majority in the state assembly,” Sarma said.
In Itanagar, there is a lot of confusion over what would be the exact effective strength of the state assembly in the wake of the Supreme Court’s order pronounced on Wednesday.
Going by the apex court  order to maintain status quo ante as on December 16, 2015, the strength of the 60-member House would be 44 (14 rebel MLAs were under suspension and two MLAs had resigned).

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