Pema tightens grip

BJP won the Pakke-Kessang and the Likabali Assembly seats that had gone to by-polls on 21 December last. The result is expected to considerably strengthen the grip of Chief Minister Pema Khandu in the state BJP. Though a new entrant to the saffron party, Khandu has made consistent effort to win the heart of central BJP leaders and its ideological mentor RSS by sharply attacking Congress leadership in particularly its national president Rahul Gandhi. Many see hall mark of RSS in the decision of state government to establish department of indigenous culture affair. For long RSS wanted to get hold of the cultural affairs of Arunachal in order to mould state as per their liking.
In Pema Khandu who is willing to walk extra mile to please RSS and other affiliate organization of BJP, the Sangh Parivar have found their man. The blooming relationship between young CM and saffron outfits is increasingly making him as one of the top leaders of the BJP in the state. By winning Pakke-Kessang and the Likabali Assembly seats, Pema Khandu has further tightened his grip in the BJP and state as whole. Especially in Likabali BJP virtually decimated its traditional rival Congress which only managed to get 362 votes. The victory is expected to severely jolt the calculation of his rivals who were hoping to bring down his government. By winning the bye elections Pema has emerged as the new power centre of state BJP and if his rise continues, he may overtake party stalwart like Kiren Rijiju and Tapir Gao in years to come.