In a big boost to BJP ahead of Nagaland elections, a number of heavyweights in the state have decided to join the saffron party. The development comes as a big setback for Congress as the party loses one of its key members, including ex Chief Minister KL Chishi. Other noted leaders who joined BJP included MLA Jacob Zhimomi and senior state leader Y Patton. In fact, Chishi was named among the members of an eight-member coordination committee formed by Congress president Rahul Gandhi for the Nagaland assembly election slated before March this year.
The other members of the panel included AICC general secretary in charge of party affairs in the state C P Joshi, state Congress chief K Theire, K Jayakumar, party’s minority department vice-chairman Anil Thomas, Assam’s ex-minister Pradyut Bordoloi, former Congress Legislature Party leader I Imkong and former MLA Lanpha Konyak.
“I have resigned as a member of the assembly and will join the BJP on Monday after a series of consultations with my grassroots leaders and supporters,” Zhimomi told IANS. “I have taken this conscious decision to join the BJP to strengthen Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for the development of the northeastern states,” said Zhimomi, who had earlier supported the combined NPF-BJP led government headed by Chief Minister TR Zeliang.
Chishi, who quit the Congress on Saturday, is scheduled to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday in presence of BJP General Secretary in-charge northeastern states, Ram Madhav. Former Home Minister Yanthungo Patton had last week resigned as member of the assembly and the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) to join the saffron party.
State BJP President, Visasolie Lhoungu, has said the former legislators decided to join the BJP after witnessing the overall performance of the BJP-led NDA central government. “There are more legislators who are intending to be part of the BJP family in the days to come for the development and peace of Nagaland,” Lhoungu told IANS. However, Lhoungu refused to comment on the internal strife within ruling NPF, which also suffered a setback when the state’s lone Lok Sabha member and former Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio quit to join the newly-floated Nagaland Democratic People’s Party.