Four MLAs from Meghalaya, one from Trinamool Congress (TMC), two from NPP and one Independent MLA join Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at its headquarter in New Delhi on Wednesday.
TMC's HM Shangpliang, National People's Party legislators Ferlin Sangma, Benedic Marak and independent MLA Samuel Sangma have joined the BJP ahead of the 2023 Meghalaya Assembly elections.
Shangpliang, Ferlin Sangman and Benedic Marak submitted their resignations to Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh last month. They have now joined the BJP, an ally in the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance which is currently ruling the northeastern state.
The leaders joined the BJP in the presence of Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Speculation was rife that these lawmakers also quit the membership of their respective parties and were set to join the BJP ahead of the state polls. Assembly polls are due in Meghalaya early next year.
Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee, who addressed a TMC workers' convention in Shillong on Tuesday, has alleged that the BJP-led Centre has neglected Meghalaya and other northeastern states and her party wants to assist the people of Meghalaya to ensure that the state is ruled by "sons of the soil".
"The central government has totally neglected Meghalaya as well as other northeastern states. We will ensure that we bring change and the hill state prospers," she was quoted as saying by PTI.