Itanagar: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday over took up the reins in Arunachal Pradesh from the Peoples’ Party of Arunachal (PPA) with Pema Khandu as Chief Minister as 33 MLAs belonging to PPA switched over to the saffron party.
With the development, Arunachal Pradesh became the second state in Northeast after Assam to be ruled by BJP. Significantly, Khandu has changed his party third time in past three months.
The move has been taken days after the ruling PPA expelled Khandu and six other MLAs over anti-party activities. Pema Khandu had switched loyalties from Congress to PPA in September 2016.
The CM, however, refusing to resign joined BJP along with 33 loyal legislators.
BJP stood by Khandu, deputy CM Chowna Mein and five other MLAs in the political feud erupted in Arunachal due to imposition of anti-party activities against them.
BJP, which already had 12 MLAs in the 60 member assembly, was a coalition partner of the PPA which owned 43 legislators till Saturday evening.
The PPA was willing to replace Pema Khandu with public health and engineering minister Takam Pario, which is the richest MLA of the hill state.
Khandu, however, refused to accept the party’s desire and made way for BJP to form its 10th full-fledged state government in the country.
“The upcoming coming year is going to be a blessing for Arunachal Pradesh. It will be a new year, new party and together with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we will develop the state,” Khandu told reporters in Itanagar.
In July when Khandu formed government in the state, he was with Congress.