Pema Khandu elected Arunachal BJP legislature party leader; to take oath as CM tomorrow | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Pema Khandu elected Arunachal BJP legislature party leader; to take oath as CM tomorrow

Jun 12, 2024 08:51 PM IST

Pema Khandu will meet governor KT Parnaik later in the evening to formally stake claim to form the next government

GUWAHATI: Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu was elected as leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislature party on Wednesday, clearing the decks for another term in the state’s top post.

Pema Khandu has been the Arunachal Pradesh chief minister since July 2016 when he first took oath as head of a Congress government (X/PemaKhanduBJP)
Pema Khandu has been the Arunachal Pradesh chief minister since July 2016 when he first took oath as head of a Congress government (X/PemaKhanduBJP)

Khandu was elected to lead the legislature party at a meeting in state capital Itanagar, ten days after the assembly election results were announced on June 2.

In two posts on X, Khandu thanked the lawmakers for their continued support. “Feeling so honoured to be elected unanimously as the Legislature Party leader of Arunachal Pradesh BJP. With utmost humility, I accept the responsibility of leading the BJP to another term of development oriented governance in sync with the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji,” he said.

“I am grateful to our fellow BJP MLAs for placing their faith in me. I also put on record my sincere thanks to our MPs, party leaders, and workers for working day in and day out in ensuring resounding win the polls. Now, let’s work together harder to further speed up the pace of all-round growth in Arunachal Pradesh and realize the goal of inclusive Viksit Bharat by 2047,” he added in another post.

Wednesday’s meeting of BJP legislators was held in the presence of BJP central observers, Ravi Shankar Prasad, MP from Bihar, and Tarun Chugh, the party’s national general secretary. Union minister Kiren Rijiju, who was re-elected from Arunachal West Lok Sabha seat, was also present.

The formal announcement about Khandu’s election was made by BJP state spokesperson Techi Necha. “The newly elected BJP MLAs of the state have elected Pema Khandu as their legislature party leader in the meeting held at Itanagar. Swearing in ceremony of the new cabinet will take place on Thursday at 11 am,” Necha said.

Khandu will meet Governor KT Parnaik later in the evening to stake claim to form the next government. The swearing in ceremony of the new council of ministers will take place on Thursday morning.

BJP national president JP Nadda, union home minister Amit Shah and the party’s national general secretary (organisation) BL Santosh, who will arrive in Itanagar on Wednesday evening, will be present at the swearing in ceremony, party leaders said.

Khandu has been at the CM’s post since July 2016 when he first took oath as head of a Congress government. A few months later, he along with almost all Congress MLAs joined the Peoples’ Party of Arunachal and formed another government. After the PPA expelled him, Khandu and MLAs supporting him switched again to the BJP in December 2016. It was the third time in the preceding 12 months that he was took oath of office.

Khandu took oath for the second term as a BJP CM on May 29, 2019, after the party won the assembly polls by bagging 41 of the total 60 seats.

This time, the ruling BJP scored 46 of the state’s 60 seats.

National Peoples’ Party (NPP), which is a constituent of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre, came second with 5 seats, the Nationalist Congress Party (NPP) won 3 seats, Peoples’ Party of Arunachal (PPA) bagged 2 seats, Congress won 1 and the remaining 3 seats were secured by Independent candidates.

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is also the convener of North East Democratic Alliance (a conglomeration of anti-Congress parties of the region led by BJP) will also be present for the swearing in. CMs of other BJP ruled states, Tripura and Manipur, and states like Nagaland and Meghalaya, where the saffron party is part of the ruling coalition, are also expected to be present.

NPP, which came second with 5 seats, has offered support to the BJP government. But leaders in Itanagar said that the party is unlikely to get included in the new cabinet.

“We have offered support to the new BJP government in Arunachal Pradesh as our party is part of NDA at Centre. But it’s unlikely that any of the 5 MLAs from NPP will get included in the new cabinet at the BJP has absolute majority on its own,” Rungri Nabam, president Arunachal Pradesh unit of NPP, said.

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