Itanagar / Guwahati: The ruling Peoples’ Party of Arunachal (PPA) suspended Chief Minister Pema Khandu and six other MLAs from the party for alleged anti-party activities late on Thursday night, pushing the state towards a fresh political turmoil.
The government, however, said that everything was normal, claiming the support of as many as 49 of the 60 MLAs. The state has been battling political instability, and there have been three CMs in the last one year.
Government spokesperson Bamang Felix claimed that 35 of the 43 PPA MLAs, 12 from the BJP, besides two others had reposed faith in the Khandu government. The party president, however, directed the MLAs not to attend any meeting called by Mr Khandu, and said that minister Takam Pario was likely to be the next CM.
The PPA is an alliance partner of the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) government.
“Everything is going normally, and the Chief Minister is still enjoying absolute majority from PPA, BJP and independent MLAs,” he said. Mr Khandu sacked on Friday three of his cabinet ministers involved in the expulsions.
Having temporarily suspended Mr Khandu, his deputy Chhowna Mein and five other MLAs, the PPA convened a legislature party meeting in Itanagar on Friday and elected minister Takam Pario as its new leader. However, only 11 MLAs turned up for the meeting. Arunachal has been battling political instability since December last year.
Arunachal has witnessed political crisis quite often recently
- In February, senior minister Mr Kalikho Pul deserted the Congress government of Mr Nabam Tuki with 24 MLAs to form a PPA government.
- His government was, however, removed after a Supreme Court verdict reinstated Mr Tuki.
- But with most Congress MLAs backing Mr Khandu, Mr Tuki had to make way for the 37-year-old as the new chief minister in July.
- A dejected Mr Pul committed suicide in Itanagar in August.
- A month later, Mr Khandu and 42 other Congress MLAs deserted the party to join the PPA and the BJP became a part of the government in October.