Nabam Tuki, who was restored as the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh by the Supreme Court on Wednesday, was asked by the Governor on Thursday to take a floor test by July 16 to prove his majority in the state Assembly.
However, Tuki, who led a Congress government that fell in January after the controversial role played by Governor J P Rajkhowa, said that he needed time to face the floor test.
Talking to reporters after attending office, Tuki said he would request the acting Governor Tathagata Roy to defer the proposed floor test as it is "not possible" within a short span of time.
The Governor in a communique informed Tuki that in obedience to the Supreme Court verdict he has been reinstated as chief minister of the state with effect from on Wednesday.
He also asked the chief minister to call the assembly session immediately and prove his majority in the house by July 16.
The communique said in order to ensure peaceful proceedings, the floor test should be videographed throughout and the majority proved by division and not by voice vote.
Roy further emphasised that the conduct of the proceedings, including the videography in the house should strictly follow the principles laid down by Supreme Court in its order of May 6 regarding imposition of President s Rule in Uttarakhand (SLP C 11567/2016) Union of India Vs Harish Chandra Singh Rawat, a Raj Bhawan release said. A note to this effect has also been sent to the assembly secretariat, it said.
Tuki arrived in Itanagar on Thursday evening after assuming charge of chief minister of the state at Arunachal Bhawan in New Delhi following the apex court verdict.
Speaker Nabam Rebia, who too attended office on Thursday, said the assembly needs at least 10 to 15 days to summon a session.
"I have received the governor's order asking the state government to go for floor test on July 16 which is practically impossible keeping in mind the uneven topography and inclement weather besides the communication bottlenecks in the state," he told reporters.
The Speaker also appealed to all the Congress members to strengthen Tuki's hands for overall development of the state.
In a major setback to BJP and the Centre, the Supreme Court yesterday ordered restoration of the Congress government, saying the "clock should be turned back", as it quashed all decisions of Governor Rajkhowa that precipitated its fall in January, holding them "violative" of the Constitution.
Tuki arrived in Itanagar from New Delhi to a rousing welcome and drove straight to his office from Naharlagun helipad. There he convened a meeting with senior bureaucrats including in-charge Chief Secretary Satya Gopal. Later, he told reporters that his priority will be to continue all the programmes and policies which were left incomplete before his government was "illegally voted out of power".
"I will continue with my pro-people development initiatives including infrastructure development, road connectivity, skill development and employment generation besides giving special thrust to health, education and security to the people," he said.
Terming yesterday's verdict of the Supreme Court which reinstated him as "historic", he said, "The judgement protected the Constitution of India and is a victory of democracy in the country."
"The (SC) verdict has brought Arunachal to the attention of the entire nation and is good for all the political parties as they are totally protected now," Tuki said, adding it had also clearly defined the powers of a Governor.
Taking a dig at BJP, he said some leaders tried to destabilise the popularly elected Congress government in the state and now they are denying their involvement which exposed their character before the people.
Asked whether the government would now demand the resignation of Governor J P Rajkhowa, Tuki said, "He should take his own decision to protect the sanctity of the institution."
Replying to a query on the impending floor test, he emphatically said the majority of the MLAs are in Congress. He also appealed the Congress MLAs to support him to form a stable government in the state as mandated by the people. The chief minister added he has no vindictive attitude towards anybody and is in constant touch with all the party MLAs.
"I have talked to all the MLAs, even as BJP is trying to create confusion. Congress is a big party and difference of opinions is not unnatural."
To a question whether he would sacrifice his post if the Congress leadership decides so, Tuki categorically stated that he would abide by whatever decision the party took. "The party's leadership stood by me even in the worst time," he said.
Replying to another query about the BJP's slogan of "Congress Mukt" northeast and political platform of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), which was formed by the saffron party and other non-Congress parties in the region in May this year, the chief minister termed it as "absurd".
The 60-member assembly now has an effective strength of 58 after two Congress members -- Gabriel Denang Wangshu and Wanglam Sawin resigned under mysterious circumstances. Congress now has 45 MLAs, while Opposition BJP has 11 members including two independents.
The Congress government led by Tuki was dismissed on December 17 last year after 21 Congress MLAs rebelled against him. The leader of the dissident faction Kalikho Pul was sworn in as the chief minister on February 19 this year with the support of Congress rebels and 11 BJP lawmakers.