10 MLAs from Sikkim’s SDF have joined BJP.(BJP4India/Twitter)
10 MLAs from Sikkim’s SDF have joined BJP.(BJP4India/Twitter)

In Sikkim assembly, BJP zooms from 0 to 10 after inducting SDF lawmakers

Former chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling of the SDF, who is currently the leader of the opposition in Sikkim, did not join the BJP.
By Kumar Uttam | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON AUG 13, 2019 10:18 PM IST

Ten MLAs of the Sikkim Democratic Front joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in New Delhi on Monday, making the BJP the main opposition party in the northeastern state. The SDF, a former ally of the BJP, was ousted from power after 25 years in this year’s assembly election.

The SDF won 15 seats in the April election, but two of its leaders got elected from two seats. “So the effective strength of the SDF legislature party is 13 and 10 of them joined the BJP today,” BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said. “With this the BJP will become the main opposition party in Sikkim, and we will play the role of a constructive opposition.”

Former chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling of the SDF, who is currently the leader of the opposition in Sikkim, did not join the BJP.

Also Read| With extension of membership drive, BJP target 5 crore new joinees

SDF MLAs who joined the BJP include Dorjee Tshering Lepcha, Ugyen Tshering Gyatso, Narendra Kumar Subba, Dilli Ram Thapa, Karma Sonam Lepcha, Krishna Bahadur Rai, Tashi Thendup Bhutia, Farwanti Tamang, Pintso Namgyal Lepcha and Raj Kumari Thapa.

“We will work to expand the BJP’s base in Sikkim,” said Dorjee Tshering Lepcha, also a former minister. “We want lotus to bloom in Sikkim. The younger generation has accepted look east policy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

Both Chamling and Lepcha successfully contested assembly election from two seats and they will vacate one seat each.

Ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha legislator Kunga Nima Lepcha, also a minister in Prem Singh Tamang government, also successfully contested the assembly election from two seats and will vacate one.

“By-election to three assembly seats will take place shortly. If the BJP wins all three its tally will go up to 13 MLAs in a house of 32,” a BJP leader said.

Seventeen is the magic figure in the assembly and if the SKM loses it seat, its tally will come down to 16. “We can get within a striking distance of forming a BJP-led government in Sikkim if we win all these three bye-election,” the BJP leader said.

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