In a major setback to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), ahead of the Lok Sabha and also Assembly elections, about 25 party leaders, including two ministers and six MLAs in Arunachal Pradesh have quits the party and joined the National Peoples’ Party (NPP) of Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma.
The mass desertion followed the BJP high command’s decision to not grant party ticket to state General Secretary Jarpum Gamlin, state Home Minister Kumar Waii and Tourism Minister Jarkar Gamlin and several other sitting legislators for the Assembly elections.
The BJP’s Parliamentary Board had on Sunday released a list of 54 candidates for the polls to the 60-member-assembly, which are being held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls in the state on April 11.
“They (BJP) attack the Congress on dynasty politics but look at Arunachal Pradesh. The chief minister’s family has got three tickets,” home minister Kumar Waii said. Tourism minister Gamlin said that the party did not inform him in advance that he will not be given a ticket to contest polls, “Had they informed earlier, I would have not resigned,” he said.
A senior NPP leader Thomas Sangma said the NPP would now try to field candidates for at least 30-40 seats in the 60-member assembly. “We will form our own government if we win in the seats,” he added.