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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 July 2024

Arunachal CM sworn in with eight new ministers: Pema Khandu to 'fulfil' poll promises

Deputy chief minister Chowna Mein, public health engineering minister Wangki Lowang and environment and forest minister Mama Natung from the previous cabinet have been retained in the new 12-member council of ministers

Umanand Jaiswal Guwahati Published 14.06.24, 05:53 AM
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu after the swearing-in ceremony of the new Arunachal Pradesh government, in Itanagar.

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu after the swearing-in ceremony of the new Arunachal Pradesh government, in Itanagar. PTI

Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu started his third term on Thursday with eight new ministers and the promise to run his government for the next five years "in the interest of our people and their development" based on commitments made by the ruling BJP in its poll manifesto for the frontier state.

The 1979-born Khandu was sworn in with his 11 ministerial colleagues at the DK State Convention Centre in Itanagar Thursday morning.

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Deputy chief minister Chowna Mein, public health engineering minister Wangki Lowang and environment and forest minister Mama Natung from the previous cabinet have been retained in the new 12-member council of ministers. This time, there are eight new entrants, including Dasanglu Pul, the first woman minister in two decades.

Khandu said that including Pul in the ministry was a reflection of the BJP’s commitment towards women empowerment. The other ministers included BJP president Biyuram Wahge, Nyato Dukam, Gabriel Denwang Wangsu, Pasang Dorjee Sona, Mama Natung Balo Raja, Kento Jini and Ojing Tasing.

Ninong Ering, who had joined the BJP from the Congress in February, was also sworn in as the protem Speaker on Thursday. He will administer the oath to the newly-elected MLAs when the House is convened.

While ministers in the previous government -- Honchun Ngandam, Alo Libang, Kamlung Mossang and Nakap Nalo -- missed out on cabinet berths, three ministers did not contest and the education minister in the previous cabinet, Taba Tedir, lost the April 19 Assembly elections. He is the only minister who lost.

Led by Khandu and Wahge, the ruling BJP won 46 of the 60 seats in the April 19 Assembly polls, improving its 2019 tally by five seats. Khandu took charge as chief minister in 2016 and has provided a stable government, reflected in the party’s electoral success in the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in 2019 and 2024.

Within hours of being sworn in as the chief minister, Khandu signed his first official file, approving 100 crore under the Chief Minister’s Social Security Scheme (CMSSS) benefitting about 80,000 beneficiaries across the state.

"Considering the fact that preparation of the state budget has been delayed because of the general elections, it is necessary that the benefits under CMSSS reach the needy beneficiaries at the earliest,” Khandu said.

Khandu said the first agenda of his cabinet will be to finalise what they will do in the next 100 days.

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