ITANAGAR: The People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) on Friday got revived when all Congress MLAs, except former Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, had merged with it but the party’s history has been that of betrayal from its own members.
Floated in 1977 to protect the locals from “foreigners” Chakma-Hajongs, the PPA was in power in the state for 47 days in 1979 until its government was ousted by former Chief Minister Gegong Apang led Congress. What led to the ouster was the en masse defection of the PPA MLAs to the Congress.
Since then, PPA had no representation in the Assembly till 2009 but in between (1989-2007), the party remained merged with the Janata Dal. In 2007, the incumbent PPA chairman Kamen Ringu had approached the Election Commission seeking the restoration of the party but was told that the party’s registration was still valid.
Subsequently, the PPA contested the 2009 Assembly polls and won four seats but all the four MLAs defected to ruling Congress soon after. This was the second time PPA faced betrayal from its own members. The party had suffered betrayal yet again in 2014 when all its five MLAs defected to the Nabam Tuki led Congress government.
During the height of dissidence against Tuki earlier this year, 31 Congress legislators, led by former Chief Minister Kalikho Pul, had defected to PPA. Subsequently, the PPA formed the government and was in power for around five months until being ousted by the Supreme Court, which reinstated the Tuki government through a judgement.
Asked about the stability of the Pema Khandu government given the frontier state’s history of political instability, Ringu said: “I am a good man and I expect only good things to happen. I am confident that the chief minister and his colleagues will continue to remain in the PPA and work for the betterment of the state, which lags way behind from rest of the states in terms of development”.
He added that the last time Pema and the other MLAs had deserted the PPA and rejoined the Congress party following the Supreme Court judgement to keep Tuki away from the seat of power.
“When they were in the Congress, they had some bitter experiences. So, they have come back to PPA again. They have realized that PPA is the only comfortable place for them,” Ringu added.