Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu today appointed 26 MLAs as parliamentary secretary to assist in the smooth functioning of his government. Khandu administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new parliamentary secretaries, including two women, in a simple function here in the presence of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) Convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma. This is the first time that a large number of MLAs were appointed as parliamentary secretaries in the state. Of the newly appointed parliamentary secretaries, six are former ministers — Phosum Khimhum, Gojen Gadi, Jarkar Gamlin, Phurpa Tsering, Thangwang Wangham and Thirong Aboh.
The others are C T Mein, Punji Mara, Jambey Tashi, P D Sona, Bamang Felix, Likha Saaya, Markio Tado, Gum Tayeng, Karya Bagang, Tapuk Taku, Kumsi Sidisow, Nikh Kamin, Techi Kaso, Mutchu Mithi, Pani Taram, Tatung Jamoh, Mama Natung, Nyamar Karbak, Zingnu Namchoom and Dikto Yekar. The portfolios of the parliamentary secretaries would be allocated soon. The development came days after the Congress lost its government in Arunachal Pradesh to BJP-led front NEDA when 43 of its MLAs led by Chief Minister Khandu defected wholesale and merged with the People’s Party of Arunachal, just two months after it had regained power.
In a House of 60, the Congress had 44 MLAs with one seat falling vacant after former chief minister Kalikho Pul committed suicide on August 9, while the BJP has 11 members including two Independents.
The status of two Congress MLAs is yet to be decided as they put in their papers before the recent series of political developments that led to the first Tuki government falling in January this year, imposition of President’s rule and installation of the late Kalikho Pul government on February 19 for a short span.