All projects undertaken by previous regimes will be fast-tracked, says Pema Khandu - Firstpost
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All projects undertaken by previous regimes will be fast-tracked, says Pema Khandu


Pema Khandu, the newly elected chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh said on Sunday that his priority would be to complete all important projects started by his father Dorjee Khandu, Nabam Tuki and Kalikho Pul.

"All projects undertaken by the previous regimes in the last four years will be fast tracked and thrust will be given to tourism, hydropower, agriculture and horticulture, health education and communication," he said.

File image of Pema Khandu. Photo: Khandu's facebook profile

File image of Pema Khandu. Photo: Khandu's facebook profile

He also said that he would inculcate a 'Team Arunachal' spirit among elected leaders irrespective of party affiliations for overall development of the state. All elected leaders of the state would be made a part of the development process cutting across political lines.

He added that he would make special effort to stop migration of people from border areas by providing all facilities with the help from the Centre under the Border Area Development Programme (BADP).

Marking the culmination of dramatic political developments in this north-eastern state, Khandu, who was unanimously elected leader of the meeting of Congress Legislative Party (CLP) on Saturday, took oath as the chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh on Sunday in Itanagar. Chowna Mein was sworn in as the deputy chief minister.

Khandu  staked claim to power on Saturday on the basis of support of 45 party MLAs along with two Independents in the CLP meeting, which was attended by 44 MLAs, including rebel Khaliko Pul, who became chief minister in February with outside support from BJP.

Arunachal Pradesh Congress president, Padi Richo, said that only Khandu will take the oath on Sunday. Khandu's  oath-taking ceremony was attended by all senior leaders, officers and Opposition as well as independent MLAs.

The Assembly now has an effective strength of 58 in which BJP has 11 and two Independents. With Speaker Nabam Rebia and the return of dissidents, the Congress claims to have the support of 45 MLAs.

Congress leader Bamang Felix and former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki had proposed Khandu's name as the new CLP leader. According to Tuki, a floor test is not required now because Khandu has been elected by the congress leaders with majority.

"Pema Khandu has the support of all 45 reunited Congress MLAs. To appoint him as the CLP leader was a collective decision," Tuki told Firstpost from Itanagar.

He denied that there was any pressure from the Congress high command to step down.

After the swearing-in ceremony, Tuki said that the differences within the party have ended once and for all. "The party stands united and everyone will work together for the development of the state."

Adressing the media after his swearing-in, Khandu said: "Expectations of the public are high. I believe in team work, will work hard. We'll try to fulfill our responsibilities, and focus on starting new projects. We will look at completion of stalled projects for the development of the state."

 

Newly sworn-in Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein said, "We will work unitedly in the interest of the people and development of the state. Now that the issues (within the party) have been resolved, look forward to work in co-operation to fulfil our responsibilities."

Also, rebel leader Pul, wished the best to Khandu and said that they will cooperate with him for the development of Arunachal Pradesh.

At 37, Pema is definitely the youngest chief minister in India among all incumbents but not the youngest one to take office. Former Puducherry chief minister MO Hasan Farook Maricar  holds the record of being the youngest chief minister ever in India as he took office at the age of 29.

A graduate from the prestigious Hindu College under Delhi University, Khandu also served as the state's Minister of Tourism and Water Resources in 2014.

With rogue MLA and former chief minister Kalikho Pul and other rebel legislators returning to the Congress fold for now, there is no immediate threat to Khandu. However, given the fluid nature of politics in the state, it would require real guts to brim with confidence over longevity of a government.

With inputs from Agencies

First Published On : Jul 17, 2016 13:17 IST

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