Itanagar: The Arunachal Pradesh government on Friday rubbished media reports that Chief Minister Pema Khandu may be replaced after his expulsion from the ruling party on charges of anti-party activities.
“There is no iota of truth in the news that has gone viral about the change in leadership,” Arunachal government spokesperson Bamang Felix said.
"Pema Khandu is the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh with absolute majority. No question in change of leadership," he added.
The ruling People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) on Thursday suspended Khandu and six others for allegedly carrying out anti-party activities.
The party has projected Takam Pario, dubbed as the richest MLA in the state with declared assets of Rs 187 crore, as the next chief minister.
Media reports have speculated that a split in the PPA is eminent.
Meanwhile, Khandu has refused to step down even as Pario is being elected as the leader of legislature party.
The Bharatya Janata Party (BJP), which has 12 MLAs, has extended support to Khandu and termed the current crisis is the party as its internal matter.
Khandu reportedly still has the support of some 30 MLAs.
The state has been marred by repeated political crisis over the past 12 months, during which it saw as many as three chief ministers taking oath.
In September, the Congress government in the state was dislodged after 43 out of 44 party MLAs joined the PPA. This came after the Supreme Court had reinstated the Congress-led Arunachal government in a July verdict.
The PPA leadership is reportedly miffed with Khandu for not following the party line.
Citing PPA president Kahfa Bengia, reports said that ex-deputy CM Kameng Dolo, Rural Development Minister Tanga Byaling and Pario were the front runners, but the consensus decision was to name Pario for the coveted post.
Bengia has alleged that Khandu in his five-month tenure never visited the PPA office nor initiated any move for membership drive to strengthen the party.