Arunachal becomes 10th state to have BJP government, Khandu remains CM (Roundup)

Itanagar, Dec 31 (IANS) Arunachal Pradesh, which witnessed dramatic political fluctuations throughout the year, on its last day saw the formation of a BJP government as 33 PPA legislators, including Chief Minister Pema Khandu, on Saturday defected to the party.

This development led Bharatiya Janata Party to form its 10th government in the country and the second in the northeast after Assam.

After 33 MLAs joined the Bharatiya Janata Party, Khandu paraded them in front of Speaker Tenzing Norbu, along with 12 existing party legislators and two independent MLAs.

Khandu said : “Lotus has finally bloomed in Arunachal Pradesh. The people of the state see a new dawn of development in the New Year.”

“The people of the state see a new dawn of development in the New Year.”

BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav welcomed the People’s Party of Arunachal MLAs joining BJP.

“Arunachal Pradesh becomes 10th BJP ruled state and 14th with BJP alliances. Congratulations to CM Pema Khandu and welcome into BJP Parivar. Arunachal has a BJP govt now. CM Pema Khandu, with 33 MLAs merges PPA in BJP. BJP govt has 45 BJP+2 ind MLAs support in a 60-member Assembly,” he tweeted.

The announcement of Khandu and 32 legislators from the PPA joining the BJP was earlier announced by state BJP President Tapir Gao, who told IANS that the state will have a strong BJP government now.

The BJP government now has total of 47 MLAs – 33 PPA, 12 existing BJP and 2 independent- – in the 60-member assembly.

With the development, PPA is left with 10 MLAs while the Congress has the strength of 3 MLAs, including former Chief Minister Nabam Tuki. Regional player PPA called the merger illegitimate and threatened take all legal measures.

“We will move a court against those MLAs who have joined the BJP,” its chief Kahfa Bengia told IANS.

Meanwhile, Gao, asked about the remaining PPA MLAs including the richest legislator Takam Pario, said: “It is for them to decide what they have to do.”

The political development in Arunachal Pradesh took a turn on Thursday when Khandu was suspended from the PPA along with six other MLAs. As Bengia said Pario would be the new Chief Minder, Khandu and the others walked into the BJP.

The PPA is a constituent of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led North East Democratic Alliance. However, it was not immediately clear whether the PPA remains a constituent of the NEDA.

Khandu, son of former Congress Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, has become second BJP Chief Minister in the northeast after Assam’s Sarbanand Sonowal.

Khandu, who took over as the Chief Minister from Nabam Tuki in July, had quit the Congress along with 42 MLAs to join the PPA in September.

Meanwhile, Congress said this has been the usual practise of the BJP to get backdoor entry in all states, but it is not going to work in the long run.

“They want backdoor entry everywhere. It may may work for sometime. But there are limits to that. When people realise that democracy is being highjacked then there is a problem,” said Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan.

“This nemesis will catch up with those who are involved in these kind of activities bacause democracy is vibrant and you can’t curb democratic practices by these kind of illegal actions through money power and muscle power,” he added.

–IANS

rup-sid/bns/vd

Top