The BJP on Tuesday received a major boost weeks ahead of the Meghalaya state assembly elections when four MLAs – one of the ruling Congress party – joined the saffron party in Shillong. Senior Assam BJP leader and minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is also convenor of North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) said BJP would “tremendously gain” from this development.
The four MLAs who joined the BJP included senior Congress leader Alexander L Hek, who had resigned from his party and the state assembly last week. The other three are former Meghalaya Deputy Speaker Sanbor Shullai of the NCP, and two Independent legislators Justibe Dkhar and Robinus Syngkon.
The legislators formally joined the BJP in the presence of the party’s national general secretary Ram Madhav and Union tourism minister KJ Alphons in Shillong. “It is a direct outcome of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call Meghalaya for Change-Meghalaya for BJP,” Madhav said. Modi had only on Decembre 16 visited Meghalaya and addressed a public rally in Shillong where he had raised the “Meghalaya for Change-Meghalaya for BJP” slogan.
Altogether eleven MLAs have resigned from the Meghalaya Assembly in the past few days, which included seven of the Congress, one NCP, and four Independents. Two among the Independents were part of the Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA). This has also reduced the Congress strength from 30 to 23, but with 11 legislators quitting the Assembly, the effective strength of the House has also come down to 49, which still leaves the Congress-led MUA in a comfortable majority.
“We welcome Meghalaya MLAs AL Hek, Sanbor Shullai, Justine Dkhar and Robinus Sungkon in @BJP4India. @BJP4Meghalaya will tremendously gain from your experiences as we get ready for change,” senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma, who has been entrusted the responsibility to instal a BJP government in all the Northeastern states, in a tweet said.