Pul win trust vote in Arunachal assembly, Lowang new speaker

Itanagar: Newly sworn-in Arunachal Chief Minister Chief Minister Kalikho Pul won a trust vote in the state assembly on Thursday while Wangki Lowang was elected as the new speaker.

Pul, who was sworn-in on February 19 after the central government recommended that president’s rule, be lifted from the state, won by voice vote.

There were 40 lawmakers present in the 60-member assembly, whose strength now stands at 58 following the expulsion of two Congress legislators in the recent political crisis, while ousted chief minister Nabam Tuki and his 16 loyalists Congress members did not attend.

Pul, who had openly revolted against Tuki, informed the assembly that he has the support of 28 congress legislators as per the attendance at the Congress Legislature Party meeting held on Wednesday, besides the support of 11 Bharatitya Janata Party legislators and two Independent members.

He also asserted his strong political will and vision for the development of the state and its people.

Veteran BJP legislator Tamiyo Taga said that the BJP with its 11 members is giving unconditional support to Kalikho Pul government from outside in the interest of the state’s development and better governance.

Earlier, Lowang was elected by a voice vote.

The speaker’s election was necessitated after 21 legislators led by Pul impeached the then speaker Nabam Rebia during a assembly session at a makeshift venue here and elected Pul as the new leader of the house.

Deputy Speaker Tenzing Norbu Thongdok, who presided over the election of the speaker is likely to be made a minister.

Former tourism minister Pema Khandu, of the Congress, moved the motion that Lowang be chosen speaker which was seconded by another Congress legislator Kamlung Mosang.

Lowang promised the members that he would uphold and maintain the dignity of the house and come up to their expectation while delivering his duty.

He also sought the cooperation and support from the members in smooth conduct of business of the assembly.

Congratulating Lowang, Pul said that Lowang was one of the senior-most and highly qualified leaders of the house with wide knowledge of parliamentary democracy and constitutional provisions.

“Lowang would defend the constitution and its democratic values and serve the state with dignity,” he said.