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43 MLAs, including CM Khandu, leave Congress

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The Congress on Friday lost its government in Arunachal Pradesh when 43 of its MLAs led by Chief Minister Pema Khandu defected wholesale and merged with the People’s Party of Arunachal, just two months after it had regained power.

Khandu, who had replaced Nabam Tuki following a dissident campaign in July, paraded 42 MLAs before Speaker Tenzing Norbu Thongdok, who accepted their joining the PPA, assembly sources said.

The merger would be notified in the assembly bulletin, formalising the political development that leaves Congress with governments only in Manipur, Meghalaya and Mizoram in the northeast.

The dramatic development in Arunachal Pradesh brought back memories of the famous ‘aya ram, gaya ram’ episode involving Bhajan Lal who was heading a Janata Party government in Haryana and defected lock, stock, and barrel with all the party MLAs to the Congress after Indira Gandhi came back to power in 1980.

Tuki was the only Congress MLA who did not join PPA, a constituent of the North East Democratic Alliance which was formed on May 24 in Guwahati.

Khandu on July 16 had become the chief minister after months of political turmoil that unseated Tuki, who himself was reinstated as chief minister by the apex court only two days before.

In a House of 60, the Congress had 44 MLAs with one seat falling vacant after former chief minister Kalikho Pul committed suicide on August 9, while the BJP has 11 members including two Independents.

The status of two Congress MLAs is yet to be decided as they put in their papers before the recent series of political developments that led to first Tuki government falling in January this year, imposition of President’s rule and installation of the late Kalikho Pul government on February 19 for a short span.

Pul was forced to resign in July 13 following a Supreme Court judgement. On March 3 last, Pul along with 29 Congress MLAs joined the PPA.

PPA CWC chairman Kameng Ringu termed the development as a “homecoming” after a short temporary self exile of the party.

Asked for the reasons behind the development, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein said that for a resource-starved state like Arunachal, it is necessary to be with a bigger party to get more development funds from the Centre.

However, Tuki, who was out of the station, could not be contacted for his comments.

The PPA had ruled the state for a brief period from March 3 to July 13 this year under late Pul. Earlier the PPA had
formed the government in 1979 when Tomo Riba was the chief minister.

Riba, who took oath on September 18, 1979, ruled the state for 46 days before being deposed on November 3, the same year.

Meanwhile, state BJP President Tapir Gao, while welcoming Khandu’s move, stated that the decision should have been taken earlier.

“We are happy that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of a ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’ is becoming a reality now,” Gao said.

While blaming the Congress high command for the mess in the party, Gao said party president Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi should have taken care of this.

Asked about the possibility of PPA MLAs merging with the BJP, Gao said the party’s door was open.

Mobiles

APPLE HOMEPOD MINI LAUNCHED AT $99, IPHONE 12 STARTING $699, IPHONE 12 PRO FROM $999

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Apple Event 2020 LIVE Updates: Apple has finally removed the curtain from its iPhone 12 series. The company launched the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max at the ‘Hi Speed’ event at the Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California. At the event, the company has also launched Smart HomePod Speaker.

The company says that the iPhone 12 Mini is also the world’s thinnest and lightest 5G smartphone. Let us tell that this event was once again started by Team Cook, CEO of the company.

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PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti released from detention after 14 months

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Jammu, 13 Oct : Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti was on Tuesday released from detention. “PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti is being released from detention,” said Jammu and Kashmir administration spokesperson Rohit Kansal.

A government order issued on Tuesday night said her detention was being revoked with immediate effect.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration in July had extended her detention by three months under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA).

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India

Indian economy to contract by 10.3% in 2020; may show 8.8% growth in 2021: IMF

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New Delhi, 13 Oct. : The Indian economy, severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic, is projected to contract by a massive 10.3 percent this year, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.

However, India is likely to bounce back with an impressive 8.8 percent growth rate in 2021, thus regaining the position of the fastest growing emerging economy, surpassing China’s projected growth rate of 8.2 percent, the IMF said in its latest ‘World Economic Outlook’ report.

Released ahead of the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, the report said global growth would contract by 4.4 percent this year and bounce back to 5.2 percent in 2021.

America’s economy is projected to contract by 5.8 percent in 2020 and grow by 3.9 percent the next year, the IMF said.

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