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New Arunachal CM 'undisputed leader': Governor

By The Assam Tribune

ITANAGAR, Feb 26 (IANS): Arunachal Governor J.P. Rajkhowa has described newly-elected Chief Minister Kalikho Pul as an "undisputed and most popular democratically elected leader" of the state, a Raj Bhavan official said on Friday.

Pul was sworn-in as the eighth chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh on February 19 after the central government recommended that President's Rule be lifted from the state.

On Thursday, the rebel Congress legislator also won a vote of confidence in the 60-member assembly, whose strength now stands at 58 following the expulsion of two Congress legislators in the recent political crisis.

The BJP which has 11 members and two other Independent members also supported Pul. However, ousted chief minister Nabam Tuki and his 16 loyalist Congress members did not attend Thursday's assembly session.

"Pul has established himself as the undisputed and most popular democratically elected leader of the State today," Rajkhowa said, while congratulating Pul for successfully clearing the 'floor test', which Rajkowa had advised, with one hundred percent voting.

The governor also exuded confidence that Pul would rise to the high expectations of the people, particularly the common man and do everything possible to make all sections of the people contented.

Rajkhowa was accused by the Congress of being a "BJP agent" after he advanced the sixth session of the assembly when rebel Congress legislators led by Pul openly revolted against Tuki.

During the assembly session at a makeshift venue, the rebel Congress legislators with the support of 11 BJP legislators and two Independents impeached the then speaker Nabam Rebia and elected Pul as the new leader of the house. This led to the dismissal of the Tuki government and imposition of President's Rule in the state on January 26.

"Under Pul's astute leadership together with his long experience and political acumen as an able legislator spread over long 25 years at a stretch, most pristine and picturesque Arunachal Pradesh would march forward along the road to peace, prosperity and all round sustainable development," Rajkhowa said.

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