Takam Pario has been reportedly elected as the new Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister. Pario replaces CM Pema Khandu who was unceremoniously temporarily ousted from the People Party of Arunachal Pradesh for alleged anti-party activities on late Thursday night. India Today news channel confirmed that Pema Khandu has been appointed by the PPA, which has 43 MLAs in the state and is a part of the North East Democratic Alliance, which also includes 12 BJP MLAs.
Pario is considered to be the richest MLA in Arunachal Pradesh. Hindustan Times today reported a PPA leader as saying that Pario has declared assets to the tune of Rs 187 crore. Pario, 41, had won the 2014 assembly election from Palin Assembly seat on a Congress ticket. However, Pario deserted the Congress along with 42 MLAs to join the PPA in July. Khandu was then the leaders of the MLAs who deserted Congress to join PPA and formed the NEDA government.
Pario served as the Minister of Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) in the ousted Pema Khandu government. Pario’s elevation marks a new chapter of the leadership crisis that crippled Arunacchal Pradesh throughout 2016.
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Late on Thursday night, Peoples’ Party of Arunachal (PPA) suspended CM Khandu, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and five other party MLAs from the primary membership of the party temporarily with immediate effect for alleged anti-party activities on Thursday night. “We are not happy with the leadership of Pema Khandu, he hasn’t been able to take the party into confidence on policy decisions,” PPA president Khafa Bengia told ANI today.
“Certain consultations have to be there, but that has been missing. There has been a complete communication gap between party organisation and governance in the state,” he added.
Five other suspended MLAs were Jambey Tashi (Lumla), Passang Dorjee Sona (Mechuka), Chow Tewa Mein (Chowkham), Zingnu Namchom (Namsai) and Kamlung Mossang (Miao).
In a statement, Khafa Bengia said he took the decision to suspend the MLAs by the virtue of the power vested in him by the Constitution of the party. The MLAs would remain temporarily suspended until the party completes disciplinary proceedings against them.
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Arunachal BJP president Tapir Gao, however, protested the move to remove Khandu. “Pema was earlier unanimously elected, we still consider Pema Khandu as the Chief Minister,” he told ANI. BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav said that 12 BJP MLAs in Arunachal Pradesh are strongly backing the government led by Pema Khandu.
Earlier in July, Khandu had deserted Congress along with 42 MLAs and joined the PPA which is a part of the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA).