In a fast-paced development, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government was on Saturday installed in Arunachal Pradesh after 33 out of 43 Peoples’ Party of Arunachal (PPA) MLAs led by Chief Minister Pema Khandu joined the saffron brigade in this politically fragile state.
Khandu paraded the MLAs before Assembly Speaker Tenzing Norbu Thongdok who accepted their joining.
The high-voltage political drama began since late Thursday night after PPA president Kahfa Bengia temporarily suspended Khandu, his deputy Chowna Mein and five legislators from the primary membership of the party for alleged anti-party activities.
The PPA, an alliance partner of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) government in the state, on Friday selected Takam Pario as the new Chief Minister of the state. However, the political equation changed when majority of the PPA MLAs who initially extended support to Pario, later shifted their allegiance to Khandu. The PPA on Saturday also suspended four other party MLAs including Honchun Ngandam, Bamang Felix, Punji Mara and Pani Taram.
“Lotus has finally bloomed in Arunachal. The people of the state will see a new dawn of development in the new year under the new government,” Khandu told reporters in the Assembly premises. Elaborating on the decision to merge with the BJP, the Chief Minister said that circumstances compelled the MLAs to take the decision in the interest of the people and the state.
“After several years of Congress misrule we observed that there was no visible development in the state. We joined the PPA with the intention to take the state to progress and prosperity, but there too, we find similar condition where the party president treated the MLAs undemocratically.
“So with focus on development, our MLAs decided to join the BJP for overall progress of the state,” the Chief Minister said. Terming the decision of the PPA president to suspend the MLAs as “undemocratic,” Khandu said that before such a move the party leadership should have issued show cause notice to the MLAs.
“There was no significant development in the state since last year due to political turmoil, but now with NDA government at the Centre, the state will witness a sea change in the coming years,” Khandu said adding, “the decision to join the BJP is a blessing in disguise for the people and the state.”
“Until and unless there is stability in the government, no development could take place. There will be no more dissident politics and we shall now only focus on development,” Khandu asserted.