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Nabam Tuki resigns, Pema Khandu to be new CM of Arunachal Pradesh

Tuki, reinstated as the Chief Minister following a Supreme Court verdict on Wednesday, proposed the name of Khandu as the next CLP leader.

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Pema Khandu replaces Nabam Tuki as the new CM after Tuki's resignation. Image Source: www.india.com
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  • Earlier, Tuki resigned as Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader, paving way for Khandu’s election
  • The 44 legislators also include former Chief Minister Kalikho Pul, who unseated Tuki and became the Chief Minister in February
  • After the return of the 30 PPA legislators to the Congress on Saturday, the strength of the Congress has become 45, which includes the Speaker, Nabam Rebia

Pema Khandu, son of former Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu is all set to become new CM of Arunachal Pradesh after resignation of current CM, Nabam Tuki.

Tuki and Khandu met Governor Tathagata Roy on Saturday. Tuki tendered his resignation as the Chief Minister. Raj Bhavan spokesperson Atum Potom said the Governor had accepted his resignation.

Pema Khandu. Image Source: tawangtourism.com
Pema Khandu. Image Source: tawangtourism.com

Earlier, Tuki resigned as Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader, paving way for Khandu’s election.

Tuki, reinstated as the Chief Minister following a Supreme Court verdict on Wednesday, proposed the name of Khandu as the next CLP leader.

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The proposal was supported by all the 44 legislators, including 15 Congress and 29 dissident Congress legislators who had joined the People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) in February.

The 44 legislators also include former Chief Minister Kalikho Pul, who unseated Tuki and became the Chief Minister in February.

“It’s a big victory for the Congress in Arunachal Pradesh,” Tuki said after leaving the Raj Bhavan.

“The recent crisis was started by the BJP. However, all their evil designs have failed as the Congress has been able to put its house in order. I hope it will be big lesson for the BJP,” he said.

Kalikho Pul, ex CM of Arunachal Pradesh. Image Source: www.huffingtonpost.in
Kalikho Pul, ex CM of Arunachal Pradesh. Image Source: www.huffingtonpost.in

Khandu said: “Tuki has tendered his resignation and I have handed over to the Governor the list of 44 legislators supporting me as the Chief Minister.

“The Governor said he would go by the formalities and let us know about the next move.”

Khandu, a graduate from Hindu College in Delhi, was inducted in the Tuki ministry in 2011 after his father died in a plane crash in Arunachal Pradesh.

He was later given the portfolio of Tourism and Water Resource Development department. Khandu, however, resigned from the Tuki cabinet in 2014.

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Asked about his swearing in ceremony, Khandu said he was waiting a response from the Governor. “I hope the swearing in ceremony will take place in a day or two,” he said.

Nabam Rebia. Image Source: naidunia.jagran.com
Nabam Rebia. Image Source: naidunia.jagran.com

After the return of the 30 PPA legislators to the Congress on Saturday, the strength of the Congress has become 45, which includes the Speaker, Nabam Rebia.

The Congress also said it has the support of two Independent legislators. The effective strength of the Arunachal assembly is 58 now.

Earlier, Governor Roy reinstated Tuki as the Chief Minister following the Supreme Court judgment and asked him to take the floor test to prove his majority support.

Nabam Tuki. image Source: indianexpress.com
Nabam Tuki. image Source: indianexpress.com

Tuki urged the Governor to defer the session by 10 days but Roy refused. (IANS)

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Why JDU & BJP Coalition Will Remain Intact

JDU knows that this 15-16% votes is not enough to help the party and for the BJP too, only the 17% votes of upper castes are not sufficient

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Nitish Kumar with Narendra Modi.
Nitish Kumar with Narendra Modi.

By Sagarneel Sinha

There have been lots of discussions among the political circles that JDU led by Bihar Chief
Minister Nitish Kumar is upset with the BJP and trying to send signals to erst allies — RJD and the Congress. This led to speculations that Nitish may once again join the Grand Alliance (GA) leaving the NDA camp. Already, RJD’s new commander Tejasvi Yadav has clearly stated that Nitish led JDU will not be welcomed in the GA. Despite all the odds, if (suppose) GA partners accommodate Nitish, he wouldn’t be the driving force of the alliance as in 2015. Also, Nitish cannot afford to go alone like in 2014 when his party fetched only 2 seats!

Then which is the correct way for JDU? It is to go with the BJP in the upcoming 2019 polls.
JDU’s advantage in this case is the present situation of the BJP. Currently, the saffron party is not in a strong position as the party would be facing anti-incumbency from a strong RJD led alliance in the state. BJP’s traditional voters are the upper castes who account for 17% of the electorate. This votebank is not enough for the party to help to win elections. The main opposition party — RJD still commands over a larger votebank than BJP. RJD is still a dominant force among the Yadavs and the Muslims who account for 31% of the population. It means BJP has to minus the 31% votes and rely on the rest — 69%. Out of these, 16% are the Mahadalits — a large portion of whom generally hail Nitish Kumar as their leader. Also, there are Kurmis, an OBC group consisting of 4% votes — considered as the supporters of JDU. Nitish Kumar himself is also a Kurmi.

Nitish Kumar Invited to Join NDA by Amit Shah After JDU-BJP Tie-up in Bihar
Nitish Kumar Invited to Join NDA by Amit Shah After JDU-BJP Tie-up in Bihar.

JDU knows that this 15-16% votes is not enough to help the party and for the BJP too, only the 17% votes of upper castes are not sufficient. However, if these votebanks are joined together they form around 31-32%. Plus, to gain the extra votes, both the parties have the option to rely on the personal charisma of Nitish Kumar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, there is a power tussle between the two allies to get a respectable share of seats.

This power tussle is because of a strong BJP which earlier used to be a junior ally. The 2014 Lok Sabha elections changed the political scenario of the state where BJP emerged as the largest party in terms of vote share and seats. JDU knows the reality of a new emerging BJP, though it is pushing hard to gain a respectable share of seats for the Lok Sabha elections. Instead, Nitish Kumar has another option — giving the bigger chunk to the BJP for the Lok Sabha elections and the latter playing the junior partner for the 2020 assembly elections if held timely. Given the current situation in the country, in a crucial state like Bihar, BJP can hardly reject JDU as the later still commands over 15-16% votes — a very crucial votebank for winning maximum seats in the 2019 polls. Importance of JDU can also be explained by BJP president Amit Shah’s visit to Patna to have breakfast and dinner with Nitish Kumar. Though in politics there are no permanent friends or foes, so any perfect prediction is impossible. But given the current situation, JDU and BJP parting their ways seems unlikely as both the parties are in need of each other as already highlighted by Amit Shah that the two allies would fight the Lok Sabha elections together. Smiling face of Nitish Kumar was also an indication that the meetings with Amit Shah were fine.