Eighteen BJP leaders in Arunachal Pradesh, including six lawmakers, have quit the saffron party over the denial of seats to contest in the polls assembly and Lok Sabha elections.
The leaders have joined Conrad Sangma's National Peoples Party (NPP), a key BJP ally, which will enter the fray alone. In total, the party has lost 25 of its leaders over the last week in the Northeast.
Among those who have deserted the saffron party state home minister Kumar Waii, BJP general secretary Jarpum Gambin, tourism minister Jarkar Gamlin, and six other legislators are among those who have resigned, NDTV reported.
"They (BJP) attack the Congress on dynasty politics but look at Arunachal Pradesh. The chief minister's family has got three tickets," home minister Kumar Waii said. Tourism minister Gamlin said that the party did not inform him in advance that he will not be given a ticket to contest polls, "Had they informed earlier, I would have not resigned," he said.
A senior NPP leader Thomas Sangma said the NPP would now try to field candidates for at least 30-40 seats in the 60-member assembly. "We will form our own government if we win in the seats," he added.
Union minister and BJP leader Kiren Rijiju clarified that the decision on tickets was not made by the party but by the central election committee.
While the BJP has already declared a list 54 candidates for the assembly polls, the NPP is expected to announce its final list of candidates by Wednesday.