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Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu officially joins 'BJP parivar'

The BJP national executive meet has officially welcomed Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu into the ‘BJP parivar’ (BJP family). A political resolution in this regard was passed and adopted by the two-day national executive of the party which began in New Delhi on Friday. “The year (2016) has ended on another happy note with 33 MLAs from the PPA in Arunachal Pradesh, including the chief minister, opting to join the BJP. The national executive welcomes the new BJP Chief Minister, Pema Khandu, into the BJP parivar,” an official release said in Itanagar on Saturday.

BJP national president Amit Shah officially welcomed Khandu and his team of PPA legislators into the party-fold on Friday. Extending support and cooperation of the BJP national executive in strengthening the party in Arunachal Pradesh as well as in the overall growth of the state, Shah expressed confidence in Khandu’s leadership to lead the party and the state from the front.

The BJP had earlier made it clear that it would “only” support the Khandu government in the state and “will never” support any other chief minister. The decision came in the backdrop of an unprecedented political development in the state where the Peoples’ Party of Arunachal temporarily suspended Chief Minister Pema Khandu, his deputy Chowna Mein and five other MLAs on December 29 for alleged anti-party activities.

Shah said 2016 had been a very successful year for the BJP. In the electoral arena, the year began with the party entering the north-east with a bang by winning the Assam Assembly polls with a two-third majority in alliance with its partners. At the end of the year, Arunachal Pradesh became the 10 state in the country currently ruled by the party.

It also registered convincing victories in the by-polls held in states such as Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh. The saffron party’s showing in Left-dominated Tripura, where it is “slowly but surely” emerging as a “credible alternative” to the Left Front by pushing back parties such as the Congress and the TMC, cannot be overlooked, he added.

In Bengal too, the party has “weathered the brute politics” of the ruling Trinamool Congress and emerged as a strong runner-up in the recent by-polls, Shah said. The main focus of the two-day national executive meet, which is being attended by former BJP presidents, party chief ministers and around 350 party members, is drawing up the strategy for the upcoming Assembly elections in five states, especially in Uttar Pradesh, the release added.