In a major boost for the BJP, four legislators including Congress MLA Alexander Hek resigned from the Meghalaya assembly on Tuesday and joined the party ahead of the 2018 state elections.
The other MLAs– Nationalist Congress Party legislator Sanbor Shullai and two Independents, Justine Dkhar and Robinus Syngkon switched to the BJP at a public meeting in Golf Links.
Present at the meeting were Union Tourism minister KJ Alphons, who is also the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Meghalaya election in-charge along with Assam minister and North East Democratic Alliance convener Himanta Biswa Sarma.
BJP state President Shibun Lyngdoh said all the four legislators decided to join the BJP after observing the overall performance of the BJP-led NDA government at the national level.
Hek is a former BJP-turned Congress legislator, who was a Health and Family Welfare minister in the Mukul Sangma cabinet before being sacked last year.
He had contested and won on a BJP ticket in 1998, 2003 and 2008 polls and joined the Congress in July 2009. He contested the 2013 assembly elections on a Congress ticket and retained the Pynthorumkhrah seat.
The latest political development in Meghalaya comes at a time when nine sitting legislators, which include six from the ruling Congress, have resigned from the state Assembly to contest the polls on the ticket of National People’s Party (NPP), which is a part of the NDA.
Former Congress legislator PN Syiem, who is also the chief executive of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, resigned from the Assembly and joined the newly-floated People’s Democratic Front.
The other five former Congress legislators — Rowell Lyngdoh, Prestone Tynsong, Coming One Ymbon, Sniawbhalang Dhar and Ngaitlang Dhar — along with former United Democratic Party legislator Remington Pyngrope and Independents Hopeful Bamon and Stephanson Mukhim, will formally join NPP on January 4 at a public meeting.