In a major setback for Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar in Arunachal Pradesh, six of the party’s seven legislators in the state defected to the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday, a bulletin issued by the state legislative Assembly said, reported PTI.
The lone MLA from the People’s Party of Arunachal, Kardo Nyigyor from Likabali constituency, also joined the saffron party.
This means the JD(U) now has just one MLA in the 60-member Assembly of Arunachal Pradesh, while the BJP has 48 members. The Congress and the National People’s Party have four members each.
The JD(U) legislators who quit are Hayeng Mangfi, Jikke Tako, Dongru Siongju, Talem Taboh, Kanggong Taku and Dorjee Wangdi Kharma. Three of them were suspended and served notices on November 26 for “anti-party activities”. Nyigyor from the People’s Party of Arunachal was also suspended by the regional outfit earlier this month.
“We have accepted their letters conveying the intention to join the party,” BJP’s Arunachal Pradesh unit President BR Waghe said, adding that the development proved people’s faith and trust in the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Pema Khandu, reported NDTV.
The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Janata Dal (United) recently won the Bihar Assembly elections after contesting together in November. The coalition – which managed to defy all exit polls, surmount anti-incumbency of 15 years, and fight a resurgent Opposition – won 125 seats in the 243-member State Assembly. The Opposition Grand Alliance clinched 110. Kumar was re-elected as the chief minister for his fourth term.
The BJP, however, one-upped its ally for the first time in the state by winning 74 seats to emerge as the larger party in the alliance. Kumar, on the other hand, saw his clout diminish as the JD(U)’s numbers came down to 43 from 71 in 2015. This was his party’s worst performance in Bihar since the 2005 Assembly polls.