Pema Khandu, six MLAs ousted for trying to merge PPA with BJP, says PPA chief

New Delhi: Even as new political development unfolds in Arunachal Pradesh after Chief Minister Pema Khandu along with six other MLAs were suspended by their own party early Friday on ground of anti-party activities, the president of People’s Party of Arunachal Pradesh said that the ousted seven were trying to merge the regional outfit with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

 Pema Khandu, six MLAs ousted for trying to merge PPA with BJP, says PPA chief

Former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu. Image from Khandu's Facebook page

In a brief interview with Firstpost, Kahfa Bengia, president of People's Party of Arunachal (PPA) said, "Since the PPA is already a participant in the North East Democratic Alliance a platform created by the BJP itself, hence there was no need to merge it with the saffron party."

He further said that one of the prime mottos of the PPA is to promote the regional identity of Arunachal Pradesh.

"Since BJP is a national party, trying to merge our party with it is seen as an activity against the principle and motto of the party," he said.

Along with Khandu, the other legislators who were suspended from PPA include Jambey Tashi, Passang Dorjee Sona, Chow Tewa Mein, Zingnu Namchom, Chowna Mein and Kamlung Mossang.

Earlier in September this year, then Congress chief minister Khandu joined the PPA along with 42 other MLAs.

The Congress accused the BJP of engineering the mass defection, alleging that the PPA is the ‘illegitimate child’ of the saffron party.

Khandu was sworn in as the Congress chief minister on 17 July after an apex court order to reinstate the party’s government replacing the alliance government ruling at that time led by the then chief minister Kalikho Pul with support from the BJP.

After the PPA suspended Khandu, it elected Takam Pario as the next chief minister.

Arunachal Pradesh has been going through a tumultuous political journey with Pario being the fourth chief minister to rule the state in a single year.

Nabam Tuki, the Congress chief minister was ousted when the Centre imposed President’s Rule leading to a constitutional crisis in the state in January this year.

Later on, Pul took over as the chief minister, who deserted the Congress party along with a large chunk of MLAs to form the government with support from the BJP only to be ousted by an apex court order to reinstate the Congress government.

Pario is also the richest MLA in the state Assembly with a declared asset worth Rs 187 crore.

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Updated Date: Dec 30, 2016 15:16:45 IST