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Poll-bound Nagaland hit by defection after Meghalaya, Tripura

Former Minister Imkong L. Imchen quits the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party and joins the BJP

January 22, 2023 03:38 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:08 am IST - GUWAHATI

Former Nagaland Minister Imkong L. Imchen. File

Former Nagaland Minister Imkong L. Imchen. File | Photo Credit: PTI

After Tripura and Meghalaya, defection has hit election-bound Nagaland.

Former Nagaland Minister Imkong L. Imchen resigned as MLA of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) less than a year after joining it.

He has joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a minor ally of the NDPP in the Nagaland Government.

Mr. Imchen, who has represented the Koridang Assembly constituency since 2003, cited personal reasons in his resignation letter to the Nagaland Legislative Assembly Secretary. The resignation is with effect from the forenoon of January 20.

“I have joined the BJP because I have been impressed by the performance of the party under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.

Mr. Imchen won the Koridang seat four times as a Naga People’s Front (NPF) candidate. He was among the 21 NPF legislators who merged with the NDPP in April 2022.

The NPF now has three MLAs left.

Meghalaya has seen several MLAs defecting or quitting the House since November 2021. All of them changed party colours. While Congress lost all its 17 MLAs — 12 to the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and five to the National People’s Party (NPP), BJP and the United Democratic Party.

Four TMC legislators later joined the NPP and the BJP. The NPP also lost a couple of MLAs.

In Tripura, three of the eight MLAs of the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) joined the TIPRA Motha headed by the State’s royal scion, Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barman. A BJP legislator also joined the TIPRA Motha.

Sudip Roy Barman and Ashish Saha quit as BJP legislators and joined Congress while another BJP legislator Ashish Kumar Das was disqualified for “gross misconduct”.

Elections to the 60-member Tripura Assembly is scheduled on February 16. Meghalaya and Nagaland will go to the polls on February 27.

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