Congress dubs coming Arunachal assembly session illegal

Itanagar, Feb 24 (IANS) Even as Arunchal Pradesh Congress termed the two-day assembly session called by Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa “illegal and unconstitutional”, Chief Minister Kalikho Pul’s faction claimed at least seven legislators loyal to his predecessor Nabam Tuki had joined them.

“Seven MLAs, who were with former chief minister Nabam Tuki earlier, have joined our faction. With the seven MLAs, our strength has reached 39 in the 60-member house,” a dissident Congress MLA and supporter of Pul said.

Newly sworn-in Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul will try to prove his majority in the assembly either on February 25 or 27 after Rajkhowa summoned the two-day session of the house on these days.

Pul took oath as chief minister at the Raj Bhavan here late Friday evening after President Pranab Mukherjee earlier approved the union cabinet’s recommendation for revocation of the President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh.

Meanwhile, the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) issued a statement on Wednesday, terming the two-day session convened by the governor as “illegal and unconstitutional”.

The party issued a whip to all its MLAs “selected on the Indian National Congress (INC) ticket of the sixth Arunachal Pradesh legislative assembly” not to attend or participate in the said session.

“The governor has summoned the assembly with a deliberate intent to disturb the status quo pending judgment of the Supreme Court of India. The Indian National Congress Party has declared the summoning of the seventh session of the sixth legislative assembly of Arunachal Pradesh as illegal and unconstitutional.

“We, therefore, direct all the MLA elected on the Indian National Congress Party ticket of the sixth Arunachal Pradesh assembly not to attend and participate in the said session,” said APCC president Rajesh Tacho in a statement here.

“It is expressly clarified that if any MLA from the Congress Party (the 14 disqualified MLAs, still professing themselves to be members of the Congress Legislature Party, acting under the interim order of the Gawahati High Court dated January 5 and 7, 2016, in Writ Petition are included) attend or participate and vote in the said session summoned by the governor, it would be construed to be an act of gross party indiscipline which would be visited with appropriate action and consequences,” Tacho said.

“The Chief Whip of the Congress Legislature Party has also issued a Whip in this regard to all the party MLAs and violation of the whip would entail disqualification under Paragraph 2(1)(b) of the 10th Schedule to the Constitution of India,” he said.

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