Two more BJP MLAs are reportedly in touch with Congress

The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttarakhand, already rocked by the resignation of its MLA from Sitarganj, Kiran Mandal, has suffered another shock with its legislator from Ghansali (Tehri district) Bhim Lal Arya reported missing.

Mr. Mandal resigned reportedly to pave the way for Congress Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna to contest a by-election and enter the Vidhan Sabha.

The speculation is that Mr..Arya is presently enjoying the hospitality of a senior Congress leader in New Delhi and would soon announce his desire to join the Congress before Sonia Gandhi.. He is expected to resign from the legislature and campaign for Mr. Bahuguna at Sitarganj.

BJP State president Bishen Singh Chufal, who convened a high-level meeting on Saturday to review the situation, said the party could not get in touch with Mr. Bhimlal for the past four days. The party would petition the Governor to ensure his protection as well as stop the “MLA poaching spree” of the Congress.

Two more BJP MLAs are reported to be in touch with the Congress and may join the ruling party soon, according to a senior BJP leader.

The confusion due to internal rifts in the BJP was evident when the former Chief Minister, B.C. Khanduri, recently said in a statement that something was definitely wrong from top to bottom in the party.

Another senior BJP leader who preferred to remain anonymous wanted the top leadership to first put the house in order at all levels and also urge the President to enforce President's rule in Uttarakhand to check the ‘anti-democratic methods being adopted by the Congress to destabilise the Opposition.'

Chief Minister Bahuguna who is now on a campaigning tour in Sitarganj seems rejected the allegations of poaching. He told The Hindu over phone: “We have not asked anyone to resign from the BJP and join the Congress.”