In a shocker for Congress, all but one of its MLAs, including Chief Minister Pema Khandu, had joined the People’s Party of Arunachal Pradesh in September. Sources said Khandu, who two months ago became chief minister in a development that restored the Congress government, along with 43 Congress MLAs joined the PPA and virtually converted it into a PPA government.
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Friday said that the decision of 43 Congress MLAs to join Peoples’ Party of Arunachal, the lone regional party of the state, was in the interest of the state and the people.
“It is an undeniable fact that for a resource-stressed state like Arunachal it has to depend on the Centre for all its needs. It is difficult to make things done at the Centre with political difference,” he told reporters during a press conference. He said the decision to join the PPA was “conscious and unanimous” as most of the MLAs expressed their views in a meeting convened this morning that to get more development funds from the Centre it was imperative to go for a change.
The only MLA who has stayed with the Congress is Nabam Tuki, who was replaced as Chief Minister when the Congress, in an effort to control the rebellion in its ranks replaced him with Khandu in July.
In the Assembly of 60, Congress had 47 MLAs, BJP 11 and two independent. Status of two Congress MLAs were yet to be decided as they put in their papers before the recent series of political developments that led to first Tuki government falling in January 2016, imposition of President’s rule and installation of the late Kalikho Pul government for a short span.
Pul, a Congress MLA and had committed suicide last month, was forced to resign in July following a Supreme Court judgement following which Pema Khandu took over.