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Arunachal political crisis: A timeline

Chief Minister Pema Khandu addresses the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly.  

Arunachal Pradesh has undergone major political unrest since April 2015 when Congress expelled Kalikho Pul from the post of action Chief Minister.

The State saw three CMs this year:

Nabam Tuki: 1 November 2011 to 26 January 2016

Kalikho Pul: 19 February 2016 to 13 July 2016

Nabam Tuki: 13 July 2016 to 17 July 2016

Pema Khandu: From 17 July 2016 onwards

Here is a timeline of the key events:

Nov 1, 2011: Congress leader Nabam Tuki takes charge as CM of Arunachal Pradesh . His brother Nabam Rebia takes charge as the Speaker.

Dec 2014: Tuki drops state Health and Family welfare minister Kalikho Pul during the Cabinet reshuffle.

Apr, 2015: Pul alleges financial mismanagement within the government. Congress expels him alleging anti-party activity.

June 1: Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa takes charge as Governor.

Oct 21: Fifth session of Assembly concludes.

Nov 3: Governor orders summoning of sixth session of Assembly, to meet on January 14, 2016.

In the same month, Congress MLAs demand resolution for removing Deputy Speaker, while BJP MLAs demand resolution to remove Speaker.

Dec 9: Governor orders advancing the Assembly session from Jan 14, 2016, to Dec 16, 2015.

Dec 15: Speaker Nabam Rebia issues notice disqualifying 14 of the 21 rebel Congress MLAs.

Dec 15: Deputy Speaker quashes disqualification of 14 of the 21 MLAs.

Dec 16: Deputy Speaker says the Speaker’s decision that sixth session would not commence on Dec 16 was illegal.

Dec 16: Tuki government locks the Assembly. Corresponding assembly meeting held in another building, attended by 33 MLAs. The resolution for removal of Speaker Rebia is passed and a new speaker is appointed.

Dec 17: Rebels hold assembly in hotel after community hall is razed, vote against Tuki; elect Pul as CM. Rebia moves Gauhati HC to keep assembly and related developments in abeyance. Read editorial

Jan 5, 2016: HC stays disqualification of 14 Cong MLAs.

Jan 6: SC agrees to hear plea of Arunachal Speaker, removed by rebel MLAs.

Jan 13: SC orders not to hold any proceedings in the Assembly till Jan 18.

Jan 14: SC refers Arunachal issue to Constitution Bench.

Jan 15: SC starts examining constitutional scope of discretionary powers of the Governor.

Jan 18: Congress tells SC that the Governor could not have acted on a resolution by opposition BJP MLAs and two Independents to advance the Assembly session.

Jan 25: Congress moves SC on recommendation for President’s rule in Arunachal.

Jan 26: Union Cabinet recommends President’s rule in the State.

Jan 27: President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh comes under SC scrutiny. SC seeks the Governor’s report on recommending central rule in the state, saying “it is too serious a matter“.

Jan 28: Nabam Tuki files fresh plea in SC against President's rule in Arunachal.

Jan 29: Centre files affidavit in SC justifying imposition of Prez rule in Arunachal Pradesh, says complete breakdown in State, Governor in danger.

Feb 1: SC recalls notice to Governor, says they are immune.

Feb 2: SC resumes hearing on pleas for examining Governor’s powers.

Feb 4: SC takes strong note of a submission that all decisions of Governor are not open to judicial review.

Feb 5: SC questions Governor’s order to advance Arunachal Assembly session to December last year from this January.

Feb 9: SC rejects plea of 2 rebel Congress MLAs against a Gauhati High Court decision upholding the action of the then Speaker accepting their resignations.

Feb 10: Governor Rajkhowa defends his actions in SC saying that the CM and the Speaker were “hand-in-glove” and trying to remain in power despite losing majority.

Feb 11: Governor can’t take away Speaker’s powers, says SC.

Feb 16: SC refuses to pass an interim order on Congress plea to restrain Governor from swearing-in new CM.

Feb 18: SC satisfied with Gauhati HC’s order staying disqualification of 14 MLAs, paves way for new govt in State.

Feb 19: SC rejects Congress’ plea for floor test in Arunachal assembly.

Feb 19: President’s rule lifted in the State.

Feb 20: Pul sworn in as CM of Arunachal Pradesh.

Feb 22: SC reserves verdict on batch of petitions dealing with discretionary powers of Governor to summon or advance the assembly sessions, says it has the powers to undo the damage.

Jul 13: SC terms Governor’s decision unconstitutional, orders restoration of Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh.

Jul 14: Acting Governor of Arunachal Pradesh Tathagata Roy asks Chief Minister Nabam Tuki to prove his majority on the floor of the Assembly by July 16, 2016.

Jul 15: Nabam Tuki meets Arunachal Pradesh Governor Tathagata Roy to seek postponement of the floor test by at least 10 days. But Governor Roy rejects Nabam Tuki’s plea for deferring floor test slated for July 16.

Jul 16: Chief Minister Nabam Tuki resigns, a few hours ahead of the much-anticipated floor test. Pema Khandu, son of former Chief Minister Dorgee Khandu, has been elected as the chief of the Congress Legislature Party.

Aug 9: Former Arunachal CM Kalikho Pul found hanging

Sept 16: Pema Khandu quits Congress along with 43 party MLAs, joins the People’s Party of Arunachal Pradesh (PPA). Nabam Tuki, Mr. Khandu's predecessor, is the only MLA who chose to stay with the Congress.

Sept 22: President Pranab Mukherjee dismisses Arunachal Pradesh Governor J.P. Rajkhowa, after it became apparent that he was not going to quit as desired by the Centre. 

Nov 19: BJP fields Dasanglu Pul, the third wife of former chief minister Kalikho Pul. She wins the by-election to Hayuliang constituency. The bypoll was held following the death of Kalikho Pul. 

Dec 13: Kiren Rijiju rejects allegations of being involved in a Rs. 450-crore transportation scam at a hydel power project. Opposition Congress demands ouster of Rijiju from the union council of ministers and a CBI probe.

Dec 29: Pema Khandu and six other MLAs suspended for anti-party activities.

Dec 30: Takam Pario, PHED minister, is likely to be the next Arunachal Pradesh CM, informs PPA President Kahfa Bengia.


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