Itanagar: Chief Minister Pema Khandu and 42 Congress MLAs on Friday quit the Congress and defected to the Peoples Party of Arunachal (PPA), an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Khandu told reporters that he had informed Speaker Wangki Lowang that "we are merging the Congress with the PPA".
PPA chairperson Kameng Ringu said the Congress MLAs joining his party was waiting to happen. "It is a homecoming after a temporary exile," Ringu told IANS after the surprising political development in Arunachal Pradesh.
The Congress has 44 legislators in the house of 60. The only Congress MLA who has not defected is former Chief Minister Nabam Tuki.
Tuki was replaced as the chief minister in July when the Congress stemmed a rebellion in the party and made Khandu the head of the state government.