It’s a day of unprecedented political development in the country. While Tamil Nadu is still coping with the days-after-Jayalalithaa and the Yadav pariwaar playing a grand soap opera; in the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh the PPA yet again proved itself a ‘stop over party’ as 33 of its MLAs switched sides to join the BJP.
The year-long political turmoil in the eastern state saw as many as four chief ministers taking charge of the state and on Saturday chief minister Pema Khandu along with 32 other MLAs of the PPA joined the BJP – making it a full circle of drama when the MLAs who contested on Congress tickets became rebels and joined PPA and after a brief stint under the Congress fold went on to form the government as PPA members with support of BJP and finally switching sides to join the BJP altogether.
“We were anyway in the process of joining the BJP in a few days. But the sudden turmoil in the PPA, with its leaders placing us under suspension two days ago prompted us to hasten the process. Altogether 33 MLAs including me and the Speaker are now BJP, and my government is now a full-fledged BJP government,” chief minister Pema Khandu said at a press conference in Itanagar on Saturday afternoon.
Before the split, the PPA had 43 MLAs. Now with 33 of them joining the BJP, the tally of total BJP members increased to 45 in the 60 member Assembly. Two Independents are also supporting the government in the state. Reports also said that two of the three Congress MLAs are also soon joining the BJP, which will take its strength further up to 49 in the 60-member House.
Khandu alleged that “as in the Congress”, there was no respect for MLAs in the PPA. “The way the PPA treated its MLAs was very undemocratic. They issued a suspension order even without serving a notice or calling for an explanation. That was very illegal, similar to what they do in the Congress,” he added.