Less than a month after Congress lost power in Arunachal Pradesh when all party MLAs, barring Nabam Tuki, joined People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA), BJP became part of the government, with its MLA Tamyo Taga being sworn in as minister Friday.
Taga (65), a former BJP national executive committee member, was administered oath by Governor V Shanmuganathan at the Itanagar Raj Bhawan Friday, with senior BJP and PPA leaders attending the function. CM Pema Khandu dropped Tapang Taloh, minister for industries, textiles and cooperation and a member of the PPA, to accommodate Taga.
With Taga’s induction, Arunachal became the 14th state in the country to have a coalition government comprising the BJP, and the sixth state where the BJP has tied up with regional parties to share power. “It is part and parcel of the system. One has to be dropped to accommodate another,” Khandu was quoted as having told reporters after Taga was sworn in.
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Khandu on September 16 led the entire Congress legislature party, barring former CM Tuki, to join the PPA. The membership of two Congress MLAs, who had reportedly resigned in December 2015, was restored by the apex court recently, thus taking the Congress strength up to three.
The present party-wise strength in the 60-member Assembly is: PPA (43), BJP (11), Independents (2) and Congress (3). One seat, that of former chief minister Kalikho Pul, who allegedly committed suicide on August 9, is vacant.
Cong petition against MLAs who joined PPA
The Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) Friday filed a petition before the Assembly challenging the merger of 43 Congress MLAs with the PPA. The party has termed the merger unconstitutional and a violation of the anti-defection law.
The APCC claimed that the Speaker had only ordered that the 43 MLAs would be “shown as PPA members” and that there was no formal recognition of the merger. “The Speaker did not recognise the merger and no order was passed permitting merger of 43 INC MLAs with PPA,” the APCC petition said. The APCC also claimed that since the action of the 43 MLAs was not pursuant to any decision by the Congress, and nor was any authority given, “hence the 43 MLAs have incurred disqualification under sub-paragraph Clause 1(a) of Para 2 of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India.”