Two ministers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday quit the party and joined the National Peoples’ Party (NPP) of Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma ahead of the Lok Sabha election 2019.
Home Minister Kumar Waii, Tourism Minister Jarkar Gamlin and former BJP general secretary Jarpum Gamlin quit the Bharatiya Janata Party after they were denied tickets to contest the Lok Sabha polls and joined the NPP in Itanagar.
A total of 18 leaders joined the party including a large section of prominent leaders, former ministers, and legislators.
Besides Waii, Jarkar and Jarpum, the others who joined the party were sitting BJP legislators Thangwang Wangham, Tapuk Taku, Pani Taram, Pangka Bage, Wangling Lowandong and Kardo Nyigyor and ex-minister Tsering Jurmey.
Asserting that NPP is the only party which represents the entire northeast region, Waii said, “Under the strong leadership of Conard Sangma, we hope to have a prime minister from the region in future.”
Kumar Waii also blamed the BJP of being a party with wrong ideologies and one with full of lies. He said, “BJP is anti-religion and anti-minority. It will create panic among the public in a secular country,” adding, “We will not just fight the elections but will form an NPP government in the state.”
Former BJP general secretary Jarpum Gamlin said, “Being a leader, you represent your people so I chose them.” He also added that he was under the impression that he was still in the run-up for the assembly tickets.
NPP general secretary and in-charge of Arunachal Pradesh Thomas Sangma said that the party would now try to field candidates on at least 30-40 seats in the 60-member Assembly.
“We will form our own government if we win on all the seats,” Sangma said. He denied any pre-poll alliance with other parties for now.
Arunachal Pradesh assembly polls which will be held simultaneously with Lok Sabha elections in the state.
NPP state unit spokesperson Mutchu Mithi, however, said the party might go for a post-poll alliance if required. The party would soon decide on fielding a candidate for the lone Lok Sabha seat in the state, Thomas Sangma said. The NPP is a constituent member of the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA).
With inputs from Yuvraj Mehta