Major blow for Congress: 43 MLAs join regional outfit in Arunachal Pradesh

The Congress party has again lost its government in Arunachal Pradesh, after almost all of its lawmakers in the state, including chief minister Pema Khandu, have joined the local People’s Party of Arunachal, reports said.

Only 1 of 45 Congress lawmakers remains in the party. That is Nabam Tuki, who was replaced as Chief Minister when the Congress, in an effort to control the rebellion in its ranks, replaced him with Khandu in July.

Just around two months ago, a SC judgment paved the way for the return of the Nabam Tuki+ -led Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh. The SC judgement effectively removed the government led by rebel Congress leader Kalikho Pul which was sworn in in February with the support of 18 dissident Congress MLAs and two independents, and 11 BJP MLAs who gave outside support. The SC’s judgement was considered historic.

“The Congress tried to blame the BJP unnecessarily. If MLAs don’t want to stay with Congress then what can we do? The SC also reinstated the Congress government but ultimately the MLAs’ decision is the final,”said Kiren Rijiju, union minister of state.

In the Assembly of 60, the Congress had 47 MLAs. The BJP has 11. There are two independents.

The status of two Congress MLAs is yet to be decided as they resigned before the political developments that led to the first Tuki government falling inJanuary 2016, the imposition of President’s rule and the installation of the Kalikho Pul government for a short period.

Pul, a Congress MLA, committed suicide last month. He was forced to resign in July following a Supreme Court judgement.

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