ITANAGAR, March 3 - In a latest political development, 30 out of 45 Congress MLAs in Arunachal Pradesh led by Chief Minister Kalikho Pul today defected from the grand old party and merged the State�s regional political party, People�s Party of Arunachal (PPA).
Their merger with the PPA has been �recognised� by Assembly Speaker Wangki Lowang. Pul-led Congress rebel legislators� step comes in the wake of �unyielding� stance of their party high command, which did neither recognise the formation of Congress Government nor the election of Pul as the leader of Congress Legislature Party.
The formalities regarding their merger with PPA were done at the State Assembly Secretariat at Naharlagun this evening in presence of Speaker and top officials of the Assembly Secretariat.
Later, addressing mediapersons at Nokmey Namati Hall of Assembly Secretariat, Chief Minister Kalikho Pul flanked by PPA chairman Kamen Ringu said that he is committed to take the confidence of the party and people of the State to address the �genuine� grievances of the common man.
At the press meet, also attended by all other newly joined members, Ringu said he welcomed the move of Pul and his team in merging with PPA.
Pul, who was sworn in as the eighth CM of the sensitive border State on February 19 last, also told the reporters that the Cabinet expansion would take place within two-three days.
Following the development, now the Congress party has been left with 15 members, including the deposed Chief Minister Nabam Tuki and former Speaker Nabam Rebia, while BJP has 11 members and two independents in the 58-member House.
Meanwhile, in a related political development, the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has expelled two Congress MLAs � Gojen Gadi and Likha Saaya � from the primary membership of the party for their alleged anti-party activities, for a period of six years. APCC said the two were ousted as per the directives from the All India Congress Committee.