Arunachal Pradesh: Big blow to Congress, 43 party MLAs sign petition to merge with PPA


The Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh plunged into a fresh crisis on Friday, as 43 party legislators have unanimously signed a petition to join the People's Party of Arunachal Pradesh which is backed by the BJP. This is the second time in seven months that the Peoples Party of Arunachal (PPA) has been gifted a government in the frontier state. The first time was in March when a rebel Congress government led by Kalikho Pul – who walked out of the party with 24 MLAs — merged with the regional party.

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Sources said Khandu, who two months ago became chief minister in a development that restored the Congress government, along with 43 Congress MLAs joined the PPA and virtually converted it into a PPA government.

The only MLA who has stayed with the Congress 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.

It remains to be seen whether the PPA will align with BJP, which has 11 MLAs in the House. In the Assembly of 60, Congress had 47 MLAs, BJP 11 and two independent. Status of two Congress MLAs are yet to be decided as they put in their papers before the recent series of political developments that led to first Tuki government falling in January 2016, imposition of President's rule and installation of the late Kalikho Pul government for a short span. Pul, a Congress MLA and had committed suicide last month, was forced to resign in July following a Supreme Court judgement.

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