ITANAGAR: The first elected government of the BJP in Arunachal Pradesh was installed on Wednesday with the swearing-in of Chief Minister Pema Khandu and his council of ministers.
Governor Brig (retd) BD Mishra administered the oath of office and secrecy to Khandu and his ministerial colleagues at the swearing-in ceremony held in Itanagar.
Chowna Mein took oath as the Deputy CM. Ten others sworn in as ministers were Wangki Lowang, Tage Taki, Tumke Bagra, Bamang Felix, Mama Natung, Nakap Nalo, Honchun Ngandam, Alo Libang, Kamlung Mosang and Taba Tedir. Nalo and Tedir had won the elections for the first time. The portfolios will be allocated soon.
Khandu described the day as historic.
“Today is a historic day for Arunachal Pradesh. This is for the first time that a full-fledged BJP government has been installed in the state. I thank people for their support,” he told journalists at the end of the swearing-in ceremony.
“Under the leadership and guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a lot of works are to be done in Arunachal. Our priority sectors will be law and order, health, education besides solving the problem of unemployment. Despite potentials in the state, we are faced with the problem of unemployment. We will bring in investments from outside to solve it. I assure people that we will run a clean, transparent and corruption-free government,” the CM committed.
The swearing in ceremony was attended by CMs Sarbananda Sonowal of Assam, N Biren Singh of Manipur, Conrad K Sangma of Meghalaya, Biplab Kumar Deb of Tripura and Neiphiu Rio of Nagaland besides Union Minister Kiren Rijiju, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav and Assam minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma.
The BJP had grabbed 41 of the state’s 60 seats in the April 11 elections. The party had captured power twice in the past but that was through political maneuvering vis-à-vis the politics of defections.
In July 2016, Khandu, who was then a Congress Minister, had taken over as the CM after Nabam Tuki relinquished the post in the wake of a power struggle. However, soon, Khandu and a large number of his Congress colleagues defected to the People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA), effectively making it a PPA government. A few months later, most of them had defected to the BJP and it became a BJP government.
In August 2003, the BJP had taken over from United Democratic Front and was in power for eight months when the then CM Gegong Apang of Arunachal Congress and MLAs from various other political parties defected to the saffron party.