Supreme Court rejects Congress' plea for floor test
New Delhi/ Itagar, Feb 19: Rebel Congress leader Kalikho Pul was tonight sworn in as Aruchal Pradesh Chief Minister after President’s Rule was lifted in the State.
Governor JP Rajkhowa administered the oath of office and secrecy at a hurriedly convened ceremony at Raj Bhavan. No cabinet minister was sworn in at today’s ceremony.
The step comes after the Supreme Court on Thursday cleared the decks for the revocation of Central rule in the northeastern border State as it vacated its own order of status quo passed on Wednesday.
The Central government had on Wednesday recommended lifting President’s Rule from the State. The decision was however held back in the wake of the status quo order passed by the apex court.
The President’s Rule, which was introduced last month amid protests by the Congress, was revoked this evening after a last ditch effort by Congress leader and deposed chief minister bam Tuki seeking an interim direction that his party be allowed to go for a floor test in the state Assembly to prove majority was rejected by the Supreme Court today.
The Union Cabinet had recommended the withdrawal of President’s rule in Aruchal Pradesh on Wednesday after Pul, accompanied by 31 MLAs, including Congress rebels, BJP and independents met Governor JP Rajkhowa to stake claim to form a new government.
A revolt by Congress dissidents led by Pul led to a political crisis in the State that filly led to imposition of President’s rule on January 26.
Tuki reportedly has the support of 26 MLAs in the 60-member Assembly.
The Congress, which had 47 MLAs in the 60-member assembly, suffered a jolt when 21 of its lawmakers revolted against Tuki’s leadership.
11 BJP legislators and two independents backed the rebels in the bid to upstage the government.
Later, 14 rebel Congress legislators were disqualified by the Speaker.
The Supreme Court was considering pleas against imposition of President’s Rule in Aruchal Pradesh and also hearing petitions seeking examition of constitutiol schemes on the scope of discretiory powers of the Governor.
After the Centre’s recommendation for withdrawal of President’s Rule, the Congress moved to the Supreme Court and got an order for maintence of status quo in the crisis-ridden state till it examined judicial and assembly records on disqualification of 14 rebel Congress legislators by former Speaker bam Rebia.
However, yesterday, the top court virtually paved the way for government formation in Aruchal Pradesh by vacating its order on maintence of status quo, after being satisfied with the Gauhati High Court order staying the disqualification of the 14 rebel Congress MLAs.