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Four MLAs to join BJP today

Shillong: The New Year brought glad tidings for the BJP in poll-bound Meghalaya with four legislators set to join the party on Tuesday after resigning from the Assembly in the morning.

The four MLAs are A.L. Hek of the Congress, Sanbor Shullai of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Independents Justine Dkhar and Robinus Syngkon.

Syngkon, who represents Mowkaiaw constituency in West Jaintia Hills district, told this correspondent, "We will resign as members of the Assembly in the morning before we join the BJP in the afternoon." He expressed confidence that the BJP would be part of the new government to be formed after the Assembly polls.

The other three legislators were not available for comment.

On Saturday, BJP state president Shibun Lyngdoh had confirmed that the four legislators would join the party at a public meeting to be held at Golf Link ground here at 1pm. They will be felicitated by Union tourism minister K.J. Alphons, the party's Meghalaya election in-charge, BJP national general secretary in-charge of Northeast Ram Madhav and Assam finance minister and North East Democratic Alliance (Neda) convener Himanta Biswa Sarma.

For Hek, who represents Pynthorumkhrah constituency, it will be a homecoming as he won three consecutive terms (1998, 2003 and 2008) on BJP ticket before switching over to the Congress in 2009.

Shullai, who won his first election from Laban in 2008 as an NCP candidate and currently represents South Shillong, had recently been relieved from the post of Meghalaya NCP president.

Dkhar had won his maiden election in 2013 from Khliehriat constituency in East Jaintia Hills.

With the four legislators vacating their seats before the expiry of their tenure, the total number of legislators who have resigned in the current (ninth) legislature will go up to 13.

The first to quit was P.N. Syiem from Mawsynram constituency who is now leading the nascent People's Democratic Front.

Eight legislators, Rowell Lyngdoh, Prestone Tynsong, Comingone Ymbon, Sniawbhalang Dhar and Ngaitlang Dhar (Congress), Remington Pyngrope (UDP) and Independents Hopeful Bamon and Stephenson Mukhim, had resigned as MLAs on December 29. They are all expected to join the NPP, an ally of the BJP, on Thursday.

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