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Pul to face floor test today

By Correspondent

ITANAGAR, Feb 24 - The six-day-old Congress-BJP combined government in Arunachal Pradesh headed by Chief Minister Kalikho Pul is set to face the test of strength on the floor of the State Assembly tomorrow.

State Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa has yesterday summoned the Assembly to meet for a two-day sitting on February 25 and 27 next, according to a communiqu� from Assembly Secretariat here.

The dissident Congress leader Pul was sworn in as the eighth Chief Minister of the frontier State to head the Congress-BJP combined government on February 19 last � a day after the Supreme Court vacated its interim order of maintaining status-quo on Arunachal Pradesh Assembly.

Pul, who enjoys the support of 19 of 45 Congress MLAs, is confident of winning the floor test in the 60-member House.

�I may have only 19 out of the 45 Congress MLAs on my side now. While pro-Tuki MLA Likha Saaya has joined me, 12 more are in touch and will come over soon. Otherwise also, I can win the floor test because 11 BJP and two Independent MLAs have pledged their support to me,� Pul had told reporters.

�Ours is an all-party government like that of the DAN Government in Nagaland. This is a government led by the Congress with outside support from BJP. There is no question of joining the BJP. But if they support our government, it is only good for our State,� he had said.

It requires a mention here that a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice JS Khehar is looking into the constitutionality of Governor JP Rajkhowa�s move to advance the Assembly session, which eventually triggered a political crisis leading to ouster of the Congress-led Nabam Tuki Government and then proclamation of Central rule in the State on January 26 last.

Earlier, 33 MLAs of the 60-member House, including 20 rebel Congress members (excepting Deputy Speaker T Norbu Thongdok) along with 11 BJP and two independent legislators had on December 17, last year passed a no-confidence motion against the Nabam Tuki Government, which faced a rebellion in the State Assembly, when the Deputy Speaker was in charge of the House proceedings a day after removal of Speaker Nabam Rebia.

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