Itanagar, Feb 20 (IANS) “We are committed to providing stability,” said new Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul after a combined Congress-BJP government was sworn in late on Friday following 24 days of president’s rule.
The step comes after the Supreme Court on Thursday cleared the decks for the revocation of president’s rule in the state as it vacated its order of maintaining status quo passed on Wednesday.
The central government had on Wednesday recommended that president’s rule be lifted from the state. The decision was, however, held back in the wake of the apex court’s status quo order.
“We are committed to providing stability and working for the overall development of Arunachal Pradesh with utmost sincerity,” Pul told IANS after being sworn in as the ninth chief minister.
Governor J.P. Rajkhowa administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 47-year-old Pul at a ceremony at the Raj Bhavan, marking the historic coalition government involving the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The BJP, which has 11 members in the 60-member House Arunachal assembly, is extending outside support to Pul. Two Independent legislators are also supporting the 19 rebel Congress legislators.
But sources close to the rebel Congress camp claimed that nine Tuki’s loyalists are also set to shift their allegiance to Pul.
While former chief minister Mukut Mithi, also a Rajya Sabha member from Arunachal, was present in the ceremony, Nabam Tuki and his loyalists skipped the event.
However, Congress general secretary in-charge V. Narayanasamy described the formation of the new government as “highly illegal” and “unconstitutional” since Pul had not been elected as leader of the Congress Legislature Party.
“This political development in Arunachal Pradesh has proven that the BJP government was involved in destabilising the Congress government which has the mandate of the people,” the veteran Congress leader told IANS.
“The Congress cannot take the support of the BJP in forming a government. We don’t subscribe to the BJP’s ideology and therefore, the new government cannot be a Congress government,” he said.
However, Pasang Dorjee Sona, one of the 19 rebel Congress legislators, held Narayanasamy responsible for the political mess in the state.
“It was Congress leader Narayanasamy, in-charge of party affairs in the state, who is responsible for the political mess in the state. He never allowed us to meet and share our grievances with Congress president and vice-president,” Pasang told IANS.
“We have to work with the BJP in the interest of the people of the state and governance has nothing to do with political ideology. Good governance and the development of the state come first,” Pasang said.
Arunachal Pradesh BJP President Tai Tagak told IANS: “We have been playing a constructive role in the opposition and our duty is to protect the interest of the people and development of the state.
“We are extending outside support to the rebel Congress since we wanted a popular government to be in place and to serve our people and to ensure development.”
The BJP leader also blamed the Congress leaders in New Delhi for the political mess that forced the central government to enforced the president’s rule in the state.
“It is their own legislators who have revolted against Tuki for his financial mismanagement and corruption. They (congress leaders) should have resolved their internal problem but when the situation goes out of their hand how can they blamed the BJP for it,” Tagak said.
(Raymond Kharmujai can be contacted at [email protected])