A major shock gripped the former Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling’s Sikkim Democratic Front party when 10 of its MLAs left the former Chief Minister and joined BJP party in New Delhi on Tuesday.
— BJP (@BJP4India) August 13, 2019
All the MLAs of the Sikkim Democratic Front joined the saffron party in presence of BJP’s working president Jagat Prakash Nadda and BJP general secretary Ram Madhav. The group of 10 MLAs was led by Dorjee Tshering Lepcha. The names of other newly inducted BJP members are 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.
Dorjee Tshering Lepcha said the 10 joining MLAs are very much impressed with the ‘look east’ policy of Narendra Modi government,
With this, BJP has emerged as the main opposition party in Sikkim. There is a total of 32 assembly seats in the state. In the Lok Sabha 2019 elections, the Sikkim Democratic front won 15 seats while Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) won 17 seats. But now with 10 MLAs of SDF joining the BJP, the strength of SDF has fallen to just three.
Interestingly, Sikkim was the only state in the Northeast region where BJP was not in power. But with the shift of 10MLAs, this may change. Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) is already a partner in National Democratic Alliance. SDF was also once a BJP ally earlier, but SKM replaced it as a member of North-East Democratic Alliance, led by Bhartiya Janta Party.
Since two-third members of SDF legislature party changed their allegiance, they will be protected under Anti-defection law under (10th Schedule). Speaking on the joining of these new members, Ram Madhav affirmed that BJP will play the role of a constructive opposition in the state.
BJP has also seen massive joining under its membership drive program. Many stars such as Babita Phogat and her father Mahavir Singh also joined BJP on Monday.