Itanagar: Dissident leader Nabam Tuki was sworn in as Arunachal Pradesh's seventh Chief Minister on Tuesday, ending a two week political drama over the demand for leadership change.

Tuki, who had led the dissent against his predecessor Jarbom Gamlin was sworn in by Governor J J Singh in the presence of AICC observers Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, former DoNER Minister B K Handique and party’s general secretary and in-charge of Arunachal Pradesh Dhaniram Shandil.

Tuki, the first Chief Minister from the Nyishi community, told reporters that his priority was to maintain communal harmony among all tribes for development of the land-locked state.

Tuki was chosen as Gamlin's successor by the Congress high command after the latter stepped down.    

On Monday, 40 of 42 Congress legislators signed a one-point resolution authorising AICC president Sonia Gandhi to appoint a new CLP leader in the state.

Gamlin, who was sworn in as Chief Minister on May five after the death of former Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, had in his resignation letter recommended the names of Power (Electrical) Minister Setong Sena and Finance Minister Kalikho Pul for the top job, official sources said.

The change in leadership was demanded by a majority of Congress legislators led by Tuki, the APCC chief.

On October 29, both Gamlin and Tuki had offered to resign from their posts. The AICC president had met both of them that evening.

The rift between Tuki and Gamlin had become a major issue dividing the party along ethnic lines in the state with majority of the Congress legislators demanding Gamlin's resignation for his alleged 'authoritarian rule'.

Besides 42 members of the Congress, Trinamool Congress has 5 in the 60-member house, NCP-5, People's Party of Arunachal 4, the BJP-3 besides a lone Independent. The Trinamool Congress and the NCP provide outside support to the Congress government.

Outlining his government's agenda, Tuki said, "I will ensure that rule of the law prevails in Arunachal. I swear to give my heart and soul to the onerous job not only as a leader, but as a friend and brother to all irrespective of tribe, caste, religion and gender as well as political affiliations.

"I am a firm believer in inclusive governance and participation of every community, every leader and every citizen of the state in the developmental and welfare initiatives. Together we can march ahead with guaranteed success," he said.

Tuki said his government would respect all issue-based and democratic agitations and sort it out by taking the organisers into confidence.

Appealing to indigenous communities not to be carried away by a few vested interests, he said, "The communal harmony and bonding between tribes of the state is unshakable since hundreds of years.

"Let’s not shake it now, not in a civilised and educated world of today .... When the majority of the citizens are together and united, the minority of ill-intent persons can never harm or even shake the communal harmony prevailing since ages," he said.

Gamlin ruled the state for 180 days. Another Chief Minister with a brief rule of 45 days was Tomo Riba who assumed the mantle on September 18, 1979.

New cabinet in a week: Tuki

Newly elected Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki on Tuesday said his cabinet would be finalised by this week following the approval by the Congress high command.

"Swearing in of new cabinet ministers will be completed within this week," Tuki said at his maiden press conference here on Tuesday. He declined to comment on whether any minister from the previous ministry would be dropped.

Tuki said he would prepare a list in consultation with senior party leaders and would go to Delhi soon for approval.

Stating that many things had happened in the past few months which have "shaken" the trust of people, the Chief Minister said, "I humbly apologise for the inconveniences caused due to internal matters of the Congress party.

"Now that everything has been sorted out, let's make this a new chapter in the history of Arunachal Pradesh for development, peace and harmony," he said.

Stating that he would fulfill the unfinished mission of late Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, he said, "I will work as per the development roadmap set by Khanduji who relentlessly
worked for a developed Arunachal."

Stating that there could be no development sans peace, Tuki said that he would ensure security to the people and improve law and order which had deteriorated in recent times.

Asked when he would order lifting of the prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC, the Chief Minister said it would continue for some time till the situation normalised.

On Saturday's bridge collapse at Seppa, where six people died and 12 are still missing, Tuki said an official enquiry would be made shortly to ascertain the reason for the accident.

"The ex-gratia payment announced by the state government will be disbursed soon," he said.

Tuki said that his major priority would be in education, health, power, infrastructure development and tourism sectors.

(Agencies)