After Manipur Chief Minister and state BJP chief, party’s national president J.P. Nadda on Sunday greeted 5 Janata Dal-United (JD-U) MLAs, who merged with the saffron party on Friday.
Party sources said that Nadda welcomed the five JD-U MLAs in a simple function at his office in the national capital.
Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, BJP state President Adhikarimayum Sharda Devi and BJP’s National Spokesperson Sambit Patra were also present during the brief ceremony.
Nadda later tweeted : “I welcome the five JDU MLAs from Manipur into the BJP family. All of you possess qualities that will greatly benefit our party. I am certain you will all serve the nation diligently as members of the BJP & play your role in the development of the country.”
Manipur Chief Minister and state party president felicitated them in Imphal on Saturday.
The BJP is yet to announce whether the 5 legislators would be accommodated in any government positions.
Manipur Assembly Secretary K. Meghajit Singh earlier on Friday said Speaker Thokchom Satyabrata Singh has accepted the merger of the five JD-U MLAs to the legislature party of the BJP in the Manipur Assembly under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution.
The five legislators who joined BJP are Khumukcham Joykisan Singh (Thangmeiband), Ngursanglur Sanate (Tipaimukh), Md. Achab Uddin (Jiribam), Thangjam Arunkumar (Wangkhei) and L.M. Khaute (Churachandpur).
In the February-March assembly election, the JD-U had fielded 38 candidates against the BJP and won six seats in the 60 member assembly and after the announcement of the election results extended their support to the BJP government headed by Biren Singh.
The sixth MLA who did not join the BJP is Muhammad Abdul Nasir, who was elected to the assembly from the Lilong assembly constituency.
With the merger of 5 JD-U MLAs, the BJP’s strength has increased to 37 in the state assembly.
The Opposition Congress has criticised the decision of the JD-U MLAs to join the BJP.
Manipur Pradesh Congress spokesperson Ningombam Bupenda Meitei in a tweet said: “5 out of 6 JD (U) MLAs from Manipur merging with BJP is not only unconstitutional, but the act also attracts disqualification under the Constitution of India. There will be a move to the High Court to disqualify them. Save the Constitution, Save Democracy.”
Reacting to the development in Manipur, JD-U leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar slammed the BJP, saying that this is the reason why he snapped ties with the saffron party.
“Till Thursday, the JD-U MLAs in Manipur were ready to come to Patna for the national executive committee meeting. They were happy about coming to Patna. But the BJP snatched them from us. They do not believe in democracy,” Nitish Kumar told the media on Saturday.