The Bharatiya Janata Party will join the Peoples’ Party of Arunachal government in Arunachal Pradesh on Friday, almost a month after all but one of the Congress MLAs joined the regional party.
The saffron party’s leader in the state assembly, Tamiyo Taga, is likely to be inducted into the Pema Khandu government at a swearing in ceremony at 11.30am at Raj Bhawan in Itanagar. Industries minister Tapang Taloh is likely to be removed from the cabinet to make way for Taga, a source said.
In September, Khandu had sprung a surprise by leaving the Congress and joining the state outfit along with 43 MLAs. Former chief minister Nabam Tuki is the only Congress legislator in the state now.
The Congress, which accused the BJP of engineering the defection, had described the PPA as the “illegitimate child” of the saffron party. In December, more than 30 Congress rebels backed by the BJP had sided with the PPA, leading to formation of a government of the regional party led by Kalikho Pul.
“Since we were already part of NEDA (North East Democratic Alliance), it was decided that it would be better to join the PPA government so that we can work together for development of Arunachal,” state BJP chief Tapir Gao told Hindustan Times.
The BJP has 11 members in the 60-member state assembly.
“We are happy with the BJP deciding to join our government. It will make the government stronger and also put an end to speculations that Khandu and others could join the BJP,” PPA chairman Kamen Ringu said.
The present government has the support of 43 MLAs from the PPA, 11 from the BJP and two Independent legislators.
This not the first time Arunachal Pradesh has witnessed political drama this year. In February, senior minister Pul deserted the Congress government of Nabam Tuki with 24 MLAs to form a PPA government.
His government was, however, removed after a Supreme Court verdict reinstated Tuki. But with most Congress MLAs backing Khandu, Tuki had to make way for the 37-year-old as the new chief minister in July.
Less than a month later, Pul committed suicide at his official residence in Itanagar. Investigations into the death are still underway.