Itanagar: The newly-installed government in Arunachal Pradesh will face a test of its strength in the Assembly on Thursday with Chief Minister Kalikho Pul receiving a shot in the arm as eight Nabam Tuki loyalists extended their support to him.
Governor Jyoti Prashad Rajkhowa yesterday summoned the seventh session of the assembly from beginning Thursday till February 27.
Pul was sworn in as the eighth chief minister of the state on February 19 after over three months of political instability.
With the joining of the eight MLAs, the strength of the Pul camp has now gone up to 41 including 28 Congress members, 11 BJP MLAs and two Independents in a house with an effective strength of 58, though the original strength was 60.
The Supreme Court had upheld the judgement of Gauhati High Court in resignation of two Congress MLAs - Gabriel Denang Wangsu and Wanglin Sawin - which was accepted by former Speaker Nabam Rebia.
The eight are former ministers Takam Pario, Gojen Gadi, Jomde Kena and Thirong Aboh and former Parliamentary Secretaries Punji Mara, Jambey Tashi, Gum Tayeng and Tapak Taku.
Parliamentary secretary Likha Saaya also had joined the Pul camp On February 20.
"More MLAs are going to support my government as they have realised that the causes for which I am fighting for the last several months," Pul said yesterday.
Deputy Speaker Tenzing Norbu Thongdok said that a new Speaker would also be elected as the seat was lying vacant since December 16. He said the customary Governor's address was also scheduled for on Thursday.
With February 26 being a holiday due to Nyokum festival of the Nyishi community, the motion of thanks to the governor's address would be taken up on the last day of the session.
"The business of the house has been decided in the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting held under my chairmanship today in presence of its members including Chief Minister Pul, Leader of Opposition (BJP) Tamiyo Taga, Pema Khandu and Paknga Bage," Thongdok said.
The Union Cabinet had on January 24 last recommended for imposition of President's rule and it was imposed on January 26. It was lifted less than a month later on February 19.
With PTI inputs