From assisting his father Dorjee Khandu in politics to working for social transformation, Pema Khandu has travelled a long way to sit in the coveted post of chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh.
37-year-old Pema, the youngest chief minister of the country, is all set to follow the footsteps of his father and former chief minister Dorjee Khandu, who died in a chopper crash in 2011 near Luguthang in Tawang district bordering China.
Pema was elected leader of the Congress Legislature Party on Saturday in a dramatic turn of events for the beleaguered party fighting to save its government. Eldest son of the family, Pema, a graduate from Delhi’s prestigious Hindu College had an early entry into governance after his father’s demise.
And in five years, he has emerged as the chief ministerial prospect after Supreme Court’s intervention that changed the course of politics in the state with dissidents returning to Congress. Pema, who hails from Tawang, first entered the Arunachal Pradesh assembly in 2011 to fill the vacancy caused by his father’s death.
His election as MLA from Mukto (ST) constituency was uncontested and he was soon included in the state government as Cabinet Minister for Water Resource Development and Tourism in the Jarbom Gamlin ministry. He also became the cabinet minister for Rual Works Department (RWD) and Tourism since November 21, 2011 in Nabam Tuki government and thereafter served the state as cabinet minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation and Art & Culture.
He was re-inducted as the Urban Development Minister on June 1 2014 in the Nabam Tuki government after the general election. He quit as minister in October last year and sided with dissident Kalikho Pul.