Former chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh Kalikho Pul passed away on Tuesday morning. He was allegedly found hanging at his residence this morning. The Congress rebel served as chief minister of the state from February 19, 2016, to July 13, 2016. Party president Sonia Gandhi has expressed shock at the “untimely and tragic demise” of Pul.
Rahul Gandhi, Congress vice-president, took to Twitter to pay his respects. “Shocked and deeply saddened at the untimely demise of Kalikho Pulji. My heart goes out to his family & loved ones”, he wrote.
Shocked and deeply saddened at the untimely demise of Kalikho Pulji. My heart goes out to his family & loved ones
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) August 9, 2016
Former Arunachal chief minister Nabam Tuki also reacted to his death saying, “May God give strength to his family; a loss for entire Arunachal Pradesh. Congress family is with his family in this moment of grief.”
The BJP’s national spokesperson, Siddhartha Bhattachrya, said, “Deeply shocked and saddened to hear of untimely demise of former Arunachal CM.”
Pul was instated as chief minister for four months after Arunachal was placed under President’s rule in December. Congress lost majority in the house after 18 dissidents, including Pul, two independents and 11 BJP legislators got together to prove majority. In February, Pul took the reins. The Supreme Court recently rejected the imposition of Centre’s rule and all administrative proceedings that took place since December. Congress’ Pema Khandu is now the new chief minister.
Investigations into his death are underway.
ANI reports that supporters of Pul have symbolically burned a coffin in response to the news. The situation in Itanagar remains tensed.