In an electric development in India’s border state of Arunachal Pradesh, all but one of the 43 MLAs of the ruling Congress, including chief minister Pema Khandu, defected to the People’s Party of Arunachal Pradesh (PPA) on Friday.
This effectively converts the Congress government to a PPA one, which is aligned with the BJP.
Mr. Khandu, who had replaced Nabam Tuki following a dissident campaign in July 2016, paraded 42 MLAs before Assembly Speaker Tenzing Norbu Thongdok, who accepted their joining the PPA, Assembly sources said.
The move would be notified in the Assembly bulletin, formalising the political development that leaves the Congress with governments only in Manipur, Meghalaya and Mizoram in the northeast.
Khandu became chief minister only two months ago when the Congress was restored to government after a series of twists and turns.
The only MLA remaining with the Congress now is Nabam Tuki, who was replaced as chief minister by Khandu back in July. That was done to stem a rebellion in the Congress ranks.
In the House of 60, Congress had until this development 47 MLAs, the BJP 11 with two Independents. The status of two Congress MLAs is uncertain as they put in their papers before the recent political developments.
"The BJP has nothing to do with this. The Congress shouldn't blame the BJP for its own failure," said Union Minister Kiren Rijiju. He added, "If the chief minister and ministers have to wait for days to meet their own leadership in Delhi, how can they stay in such a party?"