Itanagar: The revolving door politics of Arunachal Pradesh is at work once again.
- Six other lawmakers were also suspended by People's Party of Arunachal
- Pema Khandu can't exercise powers as leader of legislature party: PPA
- Party warns its legislators not to attend meetings called by Mr Khandu
Incumbent Chief Minister and former Congress rebel Pema Khandu and six other lawmakers were suspended from the People's Party of Arunachal (PPA) on Thursday evening for allegedly breaking party discipline. The regional party had embraced Mr Khandu along with 42 other Congress lawmakers in mid-September.
In an order issued by PPA president Kafia Bengia on Thursday, the party also categorically announced that Pema Khandu is no longer the leader of the legislature party and cannot exercise any of the powers bestowed to him as the leader of the legislature party.
PPA has also warned its legislators not to attend any meetings called by Mr Khandu, failing which disciplinary action would be taken.
"We had to take action since these MLAs were acting against the interest of the party. We will soon elect a new legislature party leader," Mr Bengia reportedly said in Itanagar late on Thursday.
The developments have raised the prospect of a leadership change in the state as the PPA is likely to propose the name of another leader, Takam Pario, as Mr Khandu's replacement. The regional party communicated its decision to the assembly speaker and the Governor on Thursday evening.
The frontier state in the north-east has witnessed political instability since last December when Congress dissidents revolted against former Congress Chief Minister Nabam Tuki.
Subsequently, Congress rebel Kalikho Pul formed the government in the state in February with the help of 11 BJP lawmakers.
However, after the Congress challenged the former Governor's decision in the Supreme Court, the top court turned the clock back and restored Mr Tuki's government. But since Mr Tuki didn't enjoy majority in the 60-member assembly, Mr Khandu was chosen as a compromise candidate of the 43 Congress lawmakers.
In August, Congress rebel and former chief minister Kalikho Pul committed suicide and a month later, Mr Khandu and other Congress members merged their party and joined the PPA. Only Mr Tuki remained in the Congress and two other lawmakers who were fighting a court case against their disqualification from the Congress government were outside the ruling alliance, which included the BJP.