President's Rule lifted in Arunachal; Kalikho Pul sworn in as CM

New Delhi: With the Supreme Court paving the way for government formation, President's rule in Arunachal Pradesh was today lifted and according to reports dissident Congress leader Kalikho Pul has been sworn in as the new Chief Minister.

President Pranab Mukherjee has given his approval to the Union Cabinet's recommendation for revocation of President's rule in Arunachal Pradesh, a Home Ministry official said. 

The President's nod came after the last ditch effort of Congress leader and deposed Chief Minister Nabam Tuki seeking an interim direction that his party be allowed to go for a floor test in the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly to prove majority was rejected by the Supreme Court today.

The Union Cabinet had recommended the withdrawal of President's rule in Arunachal Pradesh on Wednesday after Pul, accompanied by 31 MLAs, including Congress rebels, BJP and independents met Governor J P Rajkhowa and stake claim to form a new government.

A revolt by Congress dissidents led by Pul led to a political crisis in the state that finally led to imposition of President's rule on January 26. Tuki reportedly has the support of 26 MLAs in the 60-member Assembly.

Congress, which had 47 MLAs in the 60-member assembly, suffered a jolt when 21 of its lawmakers revolted against Tuki's leadership. Eleven BJP MLAs and two independents backed the rebels in the bid to upstage the government. 

Later, 14 rebel Congress MLAs were disqualified by the Speaker.

The Supreme Court was considering pleas against imposition of President's rule in Arunachal Pradesh and also hearing petitions seeking examination of constitutional schemes on the scope of discretionary powers of the Governor. 

After Centre's recommendation for withdrawal of President's rule, Congress moved to the Supreme Court and got an order for maintenance of status quo in the crisis-ridden state till it examined judicial and assembly records on disqualification of 14 rebel Congress MLAs by former Speaker Nabam Rebia.

However, yesterday, the apex court virtually paved the way for government formation in Arunachal Pradesh by vacating its order on maintenance of status quo, after being satisfied with the Gauhati High Court order staying the disqualification of the 14 rebel Congress MLAs.

Congress again moved the Supreme Court today but the Supreme Court rejected its plea for an interim direction that it be allowed to go in for a floor test in the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly to prove majority. 

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