Eight MLAs in Meghalaya, including five from the ruling Congress, resigned from the Assembly on Friday, the Hindustan Times reported. They are expected to join the National People’s Party, an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Though the resignations have reduced the strength of the Congress in the 60-member Assembly from 29 to 24, there is no immediate threat to the government of Mukul Sangma (pictured above) as it still enjoys the support of some Independents and allies. The state will go to the polls in 2018.

The legislators who resigned are Sniawbhalang Dhar, Comingone Ymbon, Prestone Tynsong, Rowell Lyngdoh and Ngaitlang Dhar of the Congress, the United Democratic Party’s Remington Pyngrope, and Independents Stephanson Mukhim and Hopeful Bamon.

The MLAs would join the NPP at a rally at the Polo Ground in Shillongon January 4, PTI quoted Rowell Lyngdoh, the former deputy chief minister, as saying.

Lyngdoh said the decision to quit the Congress was a difficult one but he was forced to take the step as Sangma’s “autocratic style of functioning” had made it difficult for him and the others to function in the government.