Arunachal Pradesh PHED Minister Takam Pario is likely to be the next chief minister of the state after People's Party of Arunachal (PPA) suspended incumbent Chief Minister Pema Khandu, his deputy Chowna Mein along with five other MLAs for alleged anti-party activities.
Though former deputy chief minister Kameng Dolo, present Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Tanga Byaling and Pario were the front runners for the coveted post, but the consensus decision was to name Pario as CM, PPA President Kahfa Bengia said.
"The formal announcement will be made after the end of the meeting of PPA legislators," Bengia said, adding all the formalities would be completed today. The PPA has 43 MLAs in the house of 60, while BJP has 12 legislators including an associate member, Congress has three and one independent legislator.
When asked on the possibility of swearing in of the new chief minister, Bengia said that the party would approach the Governor by this evening. In a late night development in this politically fragile state on Thursday, the party suspended Khandu, Mein along with MLAs Jambey Tashi (Lumla), Passang Dorjee Sona (Mechuka), Chow Tewa Mein (Chowkham), Zingnu Namchom (Namsai) and Kamlung Mossang (Miao) from the primary membership of the party temporarily with immediate effect.
Bengia alleged that Khandu in his five-month tenure never visited the PPA office nor initiated any move for membership drive to strengthen the party. "He (Khandu) was more inclined towards BJP instead of working for the interest of the party and even forced several PPA leaders to join BJP," Bengia added.
Khandu became chief minister in July this year after exiting from the Congress along with 42 other MLAs to join the PPA in September. The PPA is the alliance partner of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) led by BJP.