Nabam Tuki, who was reinstalled as Arunachal Pradesh chief minister on Wednesday, will have to take the floor test on Saturday as directed by the governor, who rejected his plea and also a Cabinet resolution to defer the exercise to prove his majority that could be an uphill task.
As the remote northeastern state appeared headed for another round of political standoff, Tuki, who led a Congress government that fell in January after the controversial role played by then governor J P Rajkhowa, met acting Governor Tathagata Roy on Friday and sought postponement of the floor test by at least ten days. Tuki was restored as the Chief Minister by the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
The numbers game tonight did not appear to favour Tuki since ousted Chief Minister Kalikho Pul, who is backed by BJP, has claimed the support of 43 MLAs, including 11 BJP and two independent members, in the 60-member assembly.
Pul heads the People's Party of Arunachal, which also includes Congress rebels. Tuki has appealed to the Congress rebels to return to the party fold.
The district administration has also made elaborate security arrangements with the governor asking it to ensure that the legislative assembly, important routes, private residences and other properties of all stakeholders are secured.
Tuki told reporters after meeting the Governor, who on Thursday gave the direction for taking the floor test by July 16, that he had requested 10 more days time, since it was not possible to hold it at a short notice.
Citing apprehension that the present government does not command required majority in the assembly, the governor asked Tuki to prove his majority on the floor of the house on Saturday, a Raj Bhavan communiqué in Itanagar said,rejecting the Cabinet resolution and Tuki's plea.
The governor also emphasised that a sense of security among the people must prevail and deterrent action must be taken to ensure foolproof law and order arrangement in the state, the communiqué added.
The state Cabinet at its meeting also resolved to request the governor to defer the proposed floor test by at least ten days and the decision was conveyed to him.
The Cabinet in its resolution observed that being monsoon period, many of the MLAs are out of station and would not be in a position to attend the session for holding the floor test in such a short period of time.
The Cabinet decision also stated that Saturday being a holiday in the state, it would not be proper to summon the assembly.
Assembly Speaker Nabam Rebia said it would not be possible to convene a session of the assembly at such a short notice.
Meanwhile, the state unit of BJP adopted a resolution to extend full support to PPA during the floor test.
"The regional party PPA is a core constituent of the North East Democratic Alliance," BJP state unit president Tapir Gao said in a statement, adding the party would extend outside support to the PPA.
The party further adopted a resolution seeking graceful exit of Tuki.
"The concerned officers may also not be able to process the matter in respect of summoning the assembly as per legal provisions within such a short period. Besides, other business also has to be conducted in the assembly as this will be an official session after December 15 last year for fulfilling all constitutional requirements," the cabinet observed.
The cabinet further reasoned that even in the case of Uttaranchal decided by the Supreme Court the floor test was to be held under its own supervision and 5 days time was given.
"In the instant judgement of the Apex court there is no mention of holding any floor test or summoning the assembly within a prescribed time period," the cabinet observed and requested the governor to summon the assembly on July 25 or 26 for proving the majority of the government in the House by holding the floor test while the normal business could be conducted on subsequent two days.
The governor later in the afternoon convened a high level security review meeting and advised the senior administrative officers and police officers to take all precautionary measure to ensure that law and order prevails and no untoward incidents take place.
The governor emphasised on adequate deployment of security forces in all vulnerable points and pre-empt measures against anti-social elements.
Chief Secretary Shakuntala Doley Gamlin, Principal Secretary Home Satya Gopal, DGP S Nithiananadam, Capital DC Sandeep Kumar Singh and SP K Aya briefed the governor on the security arrangement in view of the political development aftermath of the Supreme Court judgement.