The BJP has suffered a major setback in the northeast with 23 of its leaders quitting the party in the last two days.
In Arunachal Pradesh, 20 BJP leaders, including two ministers and six MLAs, joined the National People’s Party (NPP) late on Tuesday evening. This move took the strength of the NPP to 13 in the Assembly. The BJP still has 40 MLAs in ther 60-member House.
Arunachal Pradesh goes to polls on April 11 to elect 2 Lok Sabha MPs and 60 new members to the state assembly.
“Two sitting ministers Kumar Waii and Jarkar Gamlin and six other BJP legislators formally joined our party. Former BJP general secretary Jarpum Gamlin and two other former MLAs and 8 other BJP leaders have also joined us,” said NPP legislator from Roing Mutchu Mithi.
NPP is heading the Meghalaya government that also includes the is BJP. The NPP is also a constituent of the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance but both parties are contesting the Lok Sabha polls lections separately.
NPP is also part of the BJP-led government in Manipur and the NDPP-led government in Nagaland where BJP is also a partner.
In Tripura, BJP state vice-president Subal Bhowmik were among three BJP leaders who joined the Congress on Tuesday. The other two are former Minister Prakash Das and firebrand leader Debashish Sen.
After joining the Congress, Bhowmik said some people are against him being given a ticket for Lok Sabha elections. “I don’t want to be a burden in the party where there is no internal democracy. I have decided to join the Congress back,” Bhowmik said.
Bhowmik was with Congress since late 1970s. He became an MLA in 2008 on a Congress ticket. He left the party to float his own party Tripura Pragatisheel Grameen Congress after the Congress was defeated in 2013 Assembly polls. He joined the BJP in 2014.