Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Friday said that the decision of 43 Congress MLAs to join Peoples’ Party of Arunachal, the lone regional party of the state, was in the interest of the state and the people.
“It is an undeniable fact that for a resource-stressed state like Arunachal it has to depend on the Centre for all its needs. It is difficult to make things done at the Centre with political difference,” he told reporters during a press conference here today.
He said the decision to join the PPA was “conscious and unanimous” as most of the MLAs expressed their views in a meeting convened this morning that to get more development funds from the Centre it was imperative to go for a change.
“Keeping in view how to bring development to the state keeping the regional flavour and sentiments of the people and their aspirations, we have decided to join the PPA,” Khandu said.
He said the state as on date had inherited a cumulative deficit of about Rs 3,700 crore out of which liabilities of about Rs 1,200 crore had been cleared out of the resources meant for 2016-17.
“The present circumstances do not give us any space to overcome the burden of finances we had inherited for which a decision in the larger interest of the state was compelling,” he said.
“PPA being an alliance partner of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), a conglomeration of BJP and other regional political parties of the North East, we will develop a mechanism on how to get more development funds from the Centre,” he said.
When asked if the decision to join PPA was to get more developmental funds from the Centre then why the MLAs did not merge with the BJP, the major ally of the NDA, Khandu said that the aspirations of the people of the state were very high.
He said that he had talked to former chief minister Nabam Tuki who is still with the Congress about the development.
He said that Speaker Tenzing Norbu Thongdok had accepted the 43 MLAs’ switch-over to the PPA and accordingly notified in the Bulletin Part-II of the Assembly.