Pema Khandu, who was elected leader of the Congress in the Arunachal Pradesh assembly yesterday, will take oath as Chief Minister today.
Elected leader of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) in the Arunachal Pradesh assembly on Saturday, Khandu has claimed the support of 44 MLAs including 15 Congress and 29 dissident Congress legislators who had joined the People's Party of Arunachal (PPA) in February as well as two independent legislators in the 60-member assembly.
The name of Pema Khandu, son of late chief minister Dorjee Khandu, was proposed by Tuki who tendered his resignation to Governor Tathagata Roy on Saturday.
Khandu emerged as the new star on the north eastern horizon when he was elected leader of the Congress in Arunachal Pradesh on Saturday, in a dramatic turn of events for the beleaguered party fighting to save its government.
Son of late Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, who died in a chopper crash in 2011, the 37-year-old graduate from Delhi's prestigious Hindu College had an early entry into governance after his father's demise.
And in five years, he has emerged as the chief ministerial prospect after Supreme Court's intervention that changed the course of politics in the state with dissidents returning to Congress.
Khandu, who hails from Tawang, bordering China, first entered the Arunachal Pradesh assembly in 2011 to fill the vacancy caused by his father's death. His election as MLA from Mukto (ST) constituency was uncontested and he was soon included in the state government as Cabinet Minister for Water Resource Development and Tourism.
He had joined the Congress in early 2000 and became Secretary of Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee in 2005 and President of Tawang District Congress Committee in 2010.
Khandu was re-elected unopposed from Mukto in the 2014 assembly elections.
Meanwhile, observers believe the Congress is expected to give Tuki a bigger political role, preferably in Delhi, where they can showcase him as someone who was targeted by the BJP and the Central government and came out unscathed and vindicated.
It may be noted here that Tuki had been reinstated as chief minister by the Supreme Court as it quashed the orders of Arunachal Pradesh Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa who, among other things, had had President's Rule imposed in the state following the defection of several rebel Congress MLAs to the BJP.