Newly-appointed Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul on Thursday won the vote of confidence without any opposition on the first day of the state assembly session, with 17 Congress MLAs including former chief minister Nabam Tuki remaining absent in the House.
While chief minister Pul moved the motion seeking confidence of the House, all 40 members including himself who were present raised their hands and backed the motion. Those who backed Pul also included 11 BJP legislators and two Independents who had last week extended in writing their support to the new Congress government of Pul.
Newly-elected Speaker Wangli Lowang, who put Pul’s motion of confidence on a voice vote, got the raised hands counted before declaring that the motion was passed with 40 legislators supporting it. “The motion (of confidence) is passed with 40 members supporting it against nil opposition,” Speaker Lowang announced amid loud applause by the members present.
Pul, who was appointed chief minister on February 19 amid a series of controversies arising out of a special session of the state assembly held on December 16 and 17 last year in which then chief minister Nabam Tuki was “voted out” in absentia, in return thanked the House for reposing confidence on him.
Earlier, taking part in the discussion on the vote of thanks to the governor, chief minister Kalikho Pul asserted that his was a Congress government, and that he had no personal issue with his predecessor Nabam Tuki. “Ours was a fight against corruption and mismanagement. There is nothing personal. Ours is a Congress government, which the BJP has supported because of the issue,” he said.
Interestingly, chief minister Pul also praised the steps taken by governor Rajkhowa during the 25 days of President’s Rule, and said that his government would carry forward some of the good initiatives taken during this period. “If President’s Rule can bring about discipline, then why should we not maintain discipline even otherwise?” he asked.
Chief minister Pul also referred to the Supreme Court currently hearing a case related to the developments of December 16-17 leading to the installation of a new government on February 19, and said the apex court’s final decision could go either way, positive or negative. “But there is no doubt that the governor had gone strictly by the provisions laid down clearly in the Constitution,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the three-day assembly session began in Naharlagun on Thursday morning with governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa delivering his customary speech described the last few months as “filled with action” that took the state to “this new juncture” and made “positive changes possible within the framework of the Constitution, law and decency.”
“The last few months were filled with action that brought us to this new juncture. In a democracy, peaceful political dialogues, debates, discussions, dissents combined with actions for reaching newer heights of dedicated public service are inevitable since democracy within Indian context is still an evolutionary process,” he said.
“I am proud that the legislators of Arunachal Pradesh have risen to the occasion by shedding the lines of caste, creed and community and made positive changes possible within the framework of Constitution, law and decency,” governor Rajkhowa said. “I am hopeful that these endeavors bear fruits for the public at large,” he added.