Shillong: As many as four sitting Meghalaya MLAs, including a top Congress party leader, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday. Former health minister AL Hek, NCP’s Sanbor Shullai and two Independent legislators – Justine Dkhar and Robinus Syngkon – joined the BJP, earlier in the day.
AL Hek, the defector from Congress, was in the BJP earlier. He had joined the Congress party few years back and again joined the BJP today, the working president of the Meghalaya Congress unit, Vincent Pala, told. “Two were independent MLAs, one MLA who was in the BJP earlier, joined the Congress later and has again joined the BJP now. The other one was from the NCP,” he added.
Earlier in the day, BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav credited the induction of Congress MLAs in BJP to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On December 30 last year, in a major blow to the Mukul Sangma-led Congress government in Meghalaya, five of its MLAs, including former deputy chief minister Rowell Lyngdoh, resigned from the state Assembly to join the National People’s Party (NPP), an ally of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Three more legislators have also resigned from the Assembly to join the NPP, which include Remington Pyngrope from United Democratic Party and Independents Stephanson Mukhim and Hopeful Bamon.
The development comes ahead of assembly elections, scheduled to be held in February. The Congress now has been left with 24 MLAs in the 60-member Meghalaya Assembly.