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Dorjee Khandu is new chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh

By K Anurag in Guwahati
Last updated on: April 09, 2007 22:33 IST
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The high-voltage atmosphere in rebellion-hit Arunachal Pradesh Congress Legislature Party came to an end on Monday with rebel leader Dorjee Khandu being sworn in as the new chief minister of the state.

Khandu was elected the leader of the CLP by voice vote in a special session held in Arunachal Pradesh's capital Itanagar earlier in the day in presence of All Indian Congress Committee observers P R Dasmunchi and Oscar Fernandes.

K Sankaranarayanan, the Nagaland Governor who also holds additional charge of Arunachal Pradesh, administered the oath of office and secrecy to Khandu at the Raj Bhawan in Itanagar at brief function held at 6.30 pm on Monday. The new chief minister is yet to name his ministers.

A Congress party source in Intanagar informed that 31 out of the total 33 ruling Congress legislators attended Monday's CLP meeting.

Out of the 31 MLAs only five extended support to the now ousted chief minister Gegong Apang while the rest voiced their support for Dorjee Khandu.

That paved the way for Apang's exit and he himself proposed the name of Dorjee Khandu and the CLP leader.

Earlier, all the eleven ministers of Apang's cabinet raised the banner of revolt last week demanding removal of the chief minister for his 'dictatorial' way of functioning and demanded that he be replaced by former power minister Khandu. 

All the rebel minister along with over 14 supporter MLAs were camping in New Delhi last week to mount pressure on Congress high command to remove Apang.

Congress had regained power in Arunachal Pradesh in 2004 elections. The 60-member Arunachal Pradesh Assembly now has 33 Congress MLAS, nine BJP legislators, two from regional Arunachal Congress, two from the NCP and 14 Independent MLAs.

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K Anurag in Guwahati