In what comes as a huge setback for the Congress in Arunachal Pradesh, 43 out of 44 party MLAs, led by Chief Minister Pema Khandu quit the party and joined People's Party of Arunachal.
The BJP, which according to the Congress engineered the walkout, is all set to support PPA to form the government. The BJP has 11 MLAs.
Khandu was sworn in as chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh, replacing Nabam Tuki after the Supreme Court reinstated the Congress government in August. Tuki, who blamed the BJP for the split, chose to remain loyal to the Congress. “It’s all about showing hegemony,” Tuki said.
This is the second time in the last one year Congress lost power in the state.
The decision of the Congress MLAs come just a few days after V Shammugathan replaced J.P. Rajkhowa as the Arunachal Pradesh governor and a month after the suicide of Kalhiko Pul, who was asked to step down as chief minister.
There has been little progress in the probe into the suicide of Pul and according to sources, many in the Congress were upset with the way Pul, who was a popular leader, was treated by the party. A few leaders have also raised doubts if a section of partymen were trying to unseat Khandu to replace him with Tuki.
Senior BJP leader of T Taga refuted allegations that the BJP had engineered the split. “This government was to go and it’s going. We will support the new formation,” he said.