JD(U) suffers setback in Arunachal Pradesh after six MLAs join BJP; NDA ally's strength drops to one

The JD(U), led by Nitish Kumar, had won seven seats in the 2019 Assembly election in the northeastern state and had emerged as the second largest party after the BJP, which had bagged 41 seats

Press Trust of India December 25, 2020 17:24:35 IST
JD(U) suffers setback in Arunachal Pradesh after six MLAs join BJP; NDA ally's strength drops to one

Nitish Kumar addressed a press conference after meeting new JD(U) MLAs on Thursday. ANI

Itanagar: The Janata Dal United received a major jolt in Arunachal Pradesh, with six of its seven MLAs shifting allegiance to the ruling BJP, a bulletin issued by the state legislative assembly said.

The lone MLA from the People's Party of Arunachal (PPA), Kardo Nyigyor from Likabali constituency, has also joined the saffron party.

The development comes a day ahead of the announcement of the panchayat and municipal poll results.

The JD(U) MLAs who switched sides are Talem Taboh from Rumgong Assembly Constituency, Hayeng Mangfi (Chayang Tajo), Jikke Tako (Tali), Dorjee Wangdi Kharma (Kalaktang), Dongru Siongju (Bomdila) and Kanggong Taku from Mariyang-Geku constituency, the bulletin said.

On 26 November, the JD(U) had issued show-cause notices to Siongju, Kharma and Taku for "anti-party" activities, and suspended them.

The six JD(U) MLAs had earlier elected Talem Taboh as the new Legislature Party leader allegedly without the knowledge of senior party members. The PPA MLA 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 president B R Waghe said.

The JD(U), led by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, won seven of the 15 seats it contested in the 2019 assembly elections, and emerged as the second largest party after the BJP, which had bagged 41 seats.

Following the switchover, the BJP now has 48 MLAs in the 60-member House, while the JD(U) is left with only one. Congress and the National People's Party (NPP) have four members each.

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