Dorjee Khandu on Monday took over as the fifth Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, replacing Gegong Apang, soon after dissident ruling Congress MLAs elected him the new CLP leader.
The oath of office was administered to Khandu by Governor K Sankaranarayanan at a glittering function at Raj Bhawan. Apang, the second longest serving chief minister who ruled the state for a total of 23 years, earlier submitted his resignation.
The dissidents, numbering 25 of the 33 Congress legislators, who had been clamouring for removal of Apang, flew back to the state capital on Monday morning from New Delhi after camping there for 10 days, to attend the CLP meeting to settle the leadership issue.
Union ministers Oscar Fernandez and PR Dashmunsi arrived with them. At the CLP meeting hardly 5 to 6 Congress legislators reportedly expressed support for Apang.
Emerging from the meeting, Dasmunsi told reporters that Apang himself proposed Khandu's name. Since March 30, Congress dissidents began leaving for Delhi in batches to demand Apang be replaced by Khandu.
The dissidents, while camping in Delhi, met Congress President Sonia Gandhi, her political secretary Ahmed Patel, besides Fernandes to say that they were "unhappy" over the "dictatorial attitude" of Apang and that he be replaced with Khandu.