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Congress today petitioned the Election Commission to declare as illegal the "merger" announced by its 43 MLAs in Arunachal Pradesh who joined hands with the PPA to form a government in the border state. A Congress delegation led by the head of its legal cell K C Mittal and former chief minister Nabam Tuki met Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi and handed over a memorandum to him in this regard. "No merger took place as far as the Congress is concerned. Congress has not merged with People's Party of Arunachal Pradesh (PPA). The merger they are claiming is illegal and invalid.
We have requested the Election Commission and hold an inquiry into this and declare the merger as illegal," Mittal said after the meeting. The memorandum to EC signed by Tuki, Mittal and K Jayakumar, incharge of the Congress' affairs in Arunachal Pradesh, said the PPA resolution that the 43 MLAs held a meeting and decided to merge with it was "false and baseless". "The fact is that PPA has zero strength in the legislative assembly of Arunachal Pradesh. It is submitted that no such meeting was held by Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee and the decision, as claimed by PPA, is baseless and false. No decision was taken by Indian National Congress or its state unit for merger with PPA," it said. The leaders said the merger with PPA was "not sustainable in the eyes of law" and contrary to the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968. "It is requested that the order may be examined by the Commission and appropriate order may be passed declaring that there is no merger of Congress party with the PPA in Arunachal Pradesh and the resolutions, as claimed by PPA, are invalid, null and void," the memorandum said. All but one MLA of the Congress in Arunachal Pradesh-- Nabam Tuki-- had quit the party last month and announced its merger with PPA to form a new government under Pema Khandu.
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