New Delhi, Aug. 9 : Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday expressed shock at the untimely and tragic demise of former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Kalikho Pul.
Extending her condolences to Pul's family, Gandhi prayed for peace of the departed soul. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also expressed his condolences. "Shocked and deeply saddened at the untimely demise of Kalikho Pulji. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones," he tweeted. Pul was found dead at the Chief Minister's official residence in Itanagar earlier today. Expressing his solidarity, former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Nabam Tuki in a statement said, "It is sad and really unfortunate that a young leader Kalikho Pul is no more with us.
May God give strength to his family. It is a loss for the entire state of Arunachal Pradesh. The entire Congress family is with his family in this moment of grief." Pul was the chief minister for around four months after the state was placed under President's Rule following a series of dramatic developments, which witnessed the Congress government being voted out by party rebels along with the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
In February, Pul was sworn-in as the Arunachal Pradesh chief minister with the support of 18 dissident Congress legislators, two independents and 11 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs who gave him outside support in the 60-member assembly.
Nabam Tuki, who was earlier the chief minister, was dismissed following days of turmoil, after 21 of the 47 Congress MLAs - including Pul -rebelled against him.
Arunachal Pradesh was placed under President's Rule on January 26. Last month, the Supreme Court ordered the restoration of the earlier Congress government in Arunachal.
In a separate judgment, the apex court had also set aside the Assembly Deputy Speaker's order quashing the Speaker's decision to disqualify 14 rebel Congress MLAs on December 15, 2015.