Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) got a setback in Arunachal Pradesh as six of its seven legislators have defected to the BJP, an ally in Bihar.

With this defection, the JDU now has just one MLA in the 60-member Arunachal assembly and the BJP now has 48 members.

JDU’s Hayeng Mangfi, Jikke Tako, Dongru Siongju, Talem Taboh, Kanggong Taku and Dorjee Wangdi Kharma have quit the party.

“The tally entitles us to the status of the main opposition party. But we will offer full support to the BJP government in that state. Even if we get the opposition party status, we will be a friendly opposition,” JDU leader KC Tyagi had been quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

JDU became a recognised state party in Arunachal Pradesh just last year. The party won seven seats in the north eastern state and placing second after the BJP, which was the largest party with 41 seats.

After the new arrangements, the strength of opposition has now gone down to 12 – four each from Congress and National People’s Party, one from the JDU and three Independents.

Chief Minister for last 15 years, Nitish Kumar’s JDU managed to bag 43 seats in the 243-seat Bihar Assembly in this election. His ally BJP performed well in this election and managed to get 74 seats becoming the second largest party after RJD which won 75 seats.

Right after the election results showing BJP as the ‘big brother’ in the alliance, the speculations were made for a CM candidate from BJP. It was strengthened as Nitish Kumar had already declared it as his last election.