Twist in Arunachal as Khandu claims support of 49 MLAs
|Source: The Hitavada Date: 31 Dec 2016 08:19:38|
35 PPA, 12 BJP along with one associate BJP member and one Ind MLA supporting Khandu, says Govt Spokesperson Felix
AS a fresh political drama unfolded in Arunachal Pradesh after Chief Minister Pema Khandu was suspended from PPA along with six other MLAs, his Government on Friday claimed majority support and the BJP backed him but the ruling party said that there will be change in leadership.
The Pema Khandu Government claimed support of 49 of the 60 MLAs, including 35 of Peoples’ Party of Arunachal (PPA) Legislators, a day after he was suspended from his own party.
Government Spokesperson Bamang Felix claimed that 35 out of the 43 PPA MLAs have reposed their faith and allegiance in the leadership of Khandu.
“We have support of 49 MLAs including 35 PPA, 12 BJP along with one associate BJP member and one independent,” he claimed at a press conference here. “Everything is going normally as usual and the Chief Minister is still enjoying absolute majority from PPA, BJP and independent MLAs,” Felix said in response to queries.
The PPA, which has total 43 MLAs, had midnight on Thursday night temporarily suspended Khandu, Deputy Chief Minister Chhowna Mein and five other MLAs from the primary membership of the party for their alleged “anti-party activities”.
Stating that there was no question of change in leadership, Felix said, “We are looking at the legal aspects of the suspension of seven MLAs including Khandu.”
“The PPA is not a single man party. Whatever decision was taken by the party’s president Kahfa Bengia was his own. Bengia on his part said that Takam Pario, PHED Minister, is likely to be the next Chief Minister.
“We are trying to sort out the differences among the party MLAs and our door is open for all,” the spokesman added.
Responding to a query on BJP’s claim that process is on for the PPA MLAs to join it, Felix said that since PPA is an alliance partner of BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) Government “no such question arises”.
BJP during the day made it clear that it will “only” support the Khandu Government in the State and “will never” support any other Chief Minister.
“The sudden decision of the PPA is not acceptable to us as they have never discussed with us. In the interest of development of the State and its people, BJP cannot be a party to change of Government every six months,” BJP legislature party leader Tamiyo Taga told a press conference.
Taga, who is also the Textile and Handicraft Minister, further said that the party has decided to support Khandu on the floor of the Assembly if the Governor issues directives for a floor test.
Khandu broke away from the Congress along with 42 lawmakers in September this year, managing a coup that suddenly left the party out of power in the State.
Arunachal has been battling political instability since December last year when Congress dissidents revolted against former Chief Minister Nabam Tuki.