A sulking People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) has asked the BJP to clear the air of uncertainty over its status in North East Democratic Alliance (Neda), a coalition of regional parties helmed by BJP.
The PPA, one of 10 parties in Neda, felt short-changed after 33 of its 43 legislators merged with BJP to give the saffron party its second non-elected government in Arunachal Pradesh in 12 years. The BJP government was formed on December 31, a day after PPA suspended chief minister Pema Khandu and six others for anti-party activities.
The PPA sought a clear answer about its position hours before Khandu dropped two of his advisors and five parliamentary secretaries on Monday. The seven belong to PPA. PPA president Kahfa Bengia said BJP undermined the spirit of its alliance with regional parties by hijacking legislators of his party. “The BJP leadership should tell us whether or not we are in Neda but we are willing to be in the alliance if some of our PPA legislators are given cabinet berths,” he said.
The PPA has 10 MLAs in the 60-member house, and Arunachal can have a maximum of 12 ministers. BJP state president Tapir Gao said his party would discuss PPA’s position in Neda after Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, convenor of the alliance, returns from a foreign trip on January 3.
Neda was formed on May 24 — the very day Sarbananda Sonowal’s BJP-led government was sworn in —for “uprooting the Congress” from the Northeast.