GUWAHATI, Sept 16 - Hours after 43 out of 44 Congress legislators, including Chief Minister Pema Khandu, shifted camp to join the People�s Party of Arunachal (PPA), convenor of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was not in the know of the developments until this morning.
�The BJP did not engineer the developments in any way, although we welcome the development as the PPA is a constituent of the NEDA,� Sarma said while addressing media persons here today.
Sarma said, �It was only this morning around 9 that Khandu called me up and said that there could be some developments emerging. Later, I was informed that as many as 43 lawmakers have resigned from the membership of the Congress. Even I did not expect developments of this magnitude.�
The NEDA convenor said that the developments have strengthened the NEDA and the BJP being part of it would lend outside support to the new government.
�Arunachal Pradesh, for all practical reasons, is now free from the Congress,� Sarma asserted, adding that the BJP national president has been informed about the development.
�The message for the Congress leadership even from the states like Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur is loud and clear. The leadership of Rahul Gandhi is not accepted by anyone,� he opined.
Sarma informed that he will be attending the oath-taking ceremony of the parliamentary secretaries to be held the day after tomorrow.