ITANAGAR: Altogether 549 elected panchayat members, mostly from Congress, joined BJP today at Seppa in East Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh in presence of Chief Minister Pema Khandu who expressed hope that all panchayat leaders across the state would join BJP before February 20.
Khandu himself had joined the saffron party and formed a BJP government in the state on December 31.
Welcoming these panchayat leaders of East Kameng into the party, Khandu said after BJP formed the government in the state on December 31, it was decided that all elected panchayat members across the state were needed to join BJP.
"Our government's joining the BJP will not be complete till all panchayat leaders repose faith on the party and join it voluntarily," he said and expressed hope that all elected panchayat members in the state will join the party before February 20.
BJP formed the government in Arunachal on December 31 with 33 MLAs of Peoples' Party of Arunachal (PPA) led by Khandu joining the party. Khandu had broke away from Congress along with 42 lawmakers in September last year and joined PPA.
Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Kiren Rijiju for their concern for Arunachal Pradesh, Khandu said, during his three interactions with the PM, Modi had given him specific directions to take each and every scheme of the government to the grassroot.
"Our grassroot is the panchayati raj leaders," he said.
Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home, was also present on the occasion.
In his address, Rijiju called upon the panchayat leaders to cooperate with the state government and said that he would be the bridge between the central government and the state government.
Rijiju praised Khandu back saying he is the youngest chief minister of the state and his ideas were fresh.
He also asked those who joined the party today to work for strengthening the governments both at the Centre and in the state.