Guwahati: BJP leader Pema Khandu on Wednesday took oath as the chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh. Mr Khandu was administered oath of office and secrecy by governor Brig. B.D. Mishra (Retd) at the Dorjee Khandu Convention Centre in Itanagar.
Eleven Cabinet ministers, including Chowna Mein, were also administered the oath.
Mr Mein took oath as the deputy chief minister, while 10 others — Honchun Ngandam, Wangki Lowang, Alo Libang, Kamlung Mossang, Bamang Felix, Tumke Bagra, Mama Natung, Nakap Nalo, Tage Taki and Taba Tedir — were sworn in as ministers.
Earlier, Mr Khandu was elected the state BJP Legislature Party’s leader on Monday. He then met the governor to stake claim to form the government and handed letter of support of 41 BJP MLAs.
The Assembly elections in Arunachal Pradesh were held for 57 seats as three BJP MLAs — Phurpa Tsering from Dirang, Taba Tedir from Yachuli and Kento Jini from Along East — were elected unopposed. The Janata Dal (United) won seven seats, the National People’s Party five, the Congress four and Independents two. The People’s Party of Arunachal managed to win just one seat.
The Congress had won the 2014 elections under the leadership of Nabam Tuki. However, following a political crisis, Mr Khandu took oath as the chief minister in July 2016. On September 16, 2016, Mr Khandu, along with 43 MLAs from the ruling party, defected from the Congress to join the BJP. Mr Tuki, however, remained with the Congress. It is significant that it was for the first time that BJP has formed the government in the frontier state with legislators who got elected on the symbol of the party.
Earlier, the BJP formed the government in the state twice, but with legislators who defected from the Congress under the leadership of Gegong Apang first and then Pema Khandu.