Itanagar, September 16: In a major twist and turn to Arunachal Pradesh Government, 43 Congress lawmakers including Chief Minister Pema Khandu left their party and joined a BJP ally, leaving only one member with the ruling party.
Khandu has taken 42 Congress lawmakers and joined the regional People’s Party of Arunachal, thereby, slipping the thrown of Congress in the north-eastern state, just two months after the Supreme Court stepped in to restore its government. After the switchover, the turbulent northeastern state will be ruled by a BJP ally.
The Congress had 44 MLA in the Arunachal assembly but after the switch over, only one lawmaker has stayed with the Congress- Nabam Tuki, who was replaced as CM when the Congress tried to stem rebellion in its ranks and picked Khandu as a compromise.
“I have met the assembly speaker and informed him that we are merging the Congress with the People’s Party of Arunachal or PPA,” Khandu said. Khandu took charge at the head of the Congress government in July after the Supreme Court turned the clock back and cancelled every decision that had precipitated its fall in January.
“We have all decided to and joined the PPA today (Friday) morning in the larger interest of Arunachal Pradesh. Since the PPA is already part of NEDA, we think that is the best option to work for the larger interest and overall development of the state,” Arunachal Pradesh deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein said.
The Congress’s previous government led by Nabam Tuki had collapsed after Congress rebels joined hands with the BJP and voted it out in a special session held at a makeshift venue. After a period of central rule, Congress rebels led by Kalikho Pul took power with support from the BJP. That government lasted only five months as the Supreme Court reinstated the previous government in its decision.