10 MLAs of Sikkim Democratic Front join BJP
In the recently held assembly elections, the BJP could not win a single seat in Sikkim. But now it has become the main opposition party with 10 seats.
Ten MLAs of the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), the main opposition party in Sikkim, have joined the BJP. In the recently held assembly elections, the BJP could not win a single seat in Sikkim. But now, the BJP has become the main opposition party with 10 seats.
These MLAs met BJP Working President JP Nadda and then joined the BJP in the presence of party general secretary Ram Madhav. Madhav said that the SDF had 13 MLAs and its legislature party decided to merge with the BJP. Two-thirds or more of the MLAs of a party can join a new party without violating the anti-defection law. He said that the BJP will play the role of a positive opposition in the state.
MLAs who join BJP are Dorji Tshering Lepcha, DR Thapa, Karma Sonem Lepcha, KB Rai, TT Bhutia, Fermanti Tamang, Pinto Namgyal Lepcha, Ram Kumari Thapa etc.
The SDF, under the leadership of Pawan Kumar Chamling, ruled the state for 25 years. But it lost power in the 2019 elections. The SDF won 15 seats in the assembly elections, while the Sikkim Revolutionary Front won 17 seats in the 32-member assembly. Two SDF MLAs won from two seats each. Thus the number of effective SDF legislators was 13.
One of the MLAs joining the BJP, Dorji Tshering Lepcha said, "We are influenced by the Look East policy of the Narendra Modi government. We want the lotus to bloom in Sikkim." He has been a minister three times in the Chamling government and has been an MLA five times. This is the first time in Sikkim that regional party MLAs have joined the national party.
The immediate challenge for the BJP in the state is the by-election in three seats.
[Autotranslated from Hindi]