Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul and 29 Congress MLAs, including Speaker Wangki Lowang, today merged with the Peoples’ Party of Arunachal (PPA), the lone regional party of the state as “Congress high command sidelined them”.
Two Congress MLAs, Alo Libang (Tuting-Yingkiong constituency) and Tatung Jamoh (Pasighat West constituency), who were earlier supporting Nabam Tuki, joined the Pul camp last night.
With this defection, the Congress was reduced to 15 MLAs in the state, which has an effective strength of 58 in the Assembly, after the resignation of two Congress MLAs.
The BJP has 11 MLAs in the 60-member House with two Independents.
Talking to reporters at the Assembly premises, Pul said all 30 MLAs, during a Congress Legislative Party meeting last night, decided to merge with the PPA for overall development of the state.
“This is a consensus decision. We were compelled to take it as the Congress high command never paid heed to our repeated pleas for change in leadership... Being in Congress, we never acted against the party, but demanded for change in the leadership. Party’s senior leaders could not solve our issue and instead, sidelined us, compelling us to take the decision,” he said.
“Now we have a PPA government with outside support from 11 BJP MLAs and two Independent members... This is a people’s government, which is committed to work for the welfare of the state and its people,” Pul claimed.