Eight sitting legislators, including two ministers, of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday joined the National People’s Party led by Conrad Sangma, ANI reported. A total of 18 BJP leaders joined the party on Tuesday, according to Northeast Now.
National People’s Party General Secretary Thomas Sangma said that Home Minister Kumar Waii and Tourism Minister Jarkar Gamlin have joined the party. “National People’s Party will not form alliance with anyone,” ANI quoted Sangma as saying at a press conference. “BJP’s ideology is not right. It is not a secular party.”
Sangma said the party would try to field candidates for at least 30 to 40 seats in the 60-member Assembly. “We will form our own government if we win in the seats,” he said, according to NDTV.
BJP MLAs Thangwang Wangham, Tapuk Taku, Pani Taram, Pangka Bage, Wangling Lowandong and Kardo Nyigyor, former BJP General Secretary Jarpum Gamlin, and former minister Tsering Jurmey joined the National People’s Party.
With the latest crossover, the BJP is left with 40 members in the 60-member Arunachal Pradesh Assembly.
Home Minister Kumar Waii claimed the BJP was indulging in “dynasty politics”. “If BJP was the right party, I would have been working for it,” Waii said, according to ANI. “BJP says that for them country is first, party second [and] person third but they are doing dynasty politics. This is a secular state but BJP is an anti-religion party.”
Tourism Minister Jarkar Gamlin said he would not have resigned from the BJP if the party had informed him in advance that he would not be given a ticket. “But I was always given a false impression by the party,” he said.
Union minister Kiren Rijiju said it was the central election committee which decided on granting tickets, NDTV reported. “Yes, sitting ministers were denied tickets, but that’s because of the ground situation assessed by the parliamentary board,” he said.
The BJP’s parliamentary board on Sunday released a list of 54 candidates for the Assembly polls in Arunachal Pradesh, which will be held simultaneously with Lok Sabha polls on April 11.