To prevent division of anti-Left votes in Tripura, the state unit of BJP on Wednesday asked all nine sitting opposition MLAs to join the saffron party by May 31.
BJP president Biplab Kumar Deb said the nine opposition MLAs have contacted them, including the party's national president, Amit Shah, general secretary Ram Madhav and convener of Northeast Democratic Alliance (NEDA) Himanta Biswa Sarma, expressing their willingness to join BJP.
"The matter was discussed at several levels in the past few months and we have also examined the pros and cons of their joining BJP after holding a meeting in Guwahati on Tuesday," said Deb.
However, the party has set two conditions for accepting six Trinamool Congress and three Congress MLAs in BJP - they would have to join before May 31 and none of them would be assured of 'leadership' in the saffron party.
"After May 31, none of the opposition MLAs would be accepted and the party would decide its poll strategy to fight against the Left Front in all 60 constituencies," Deb said. He added that the deadline for the opposition legislators was fixed as BJP will have to finalize its candidates for the nine seats presently held by candidates from the opposition parties.
Many believe that the move is aimed at TMC leader and MLA Sudip Roy Barman's entry into BJP along with five other legislators who had deserted Congress last year. While Congress MLA Ratan Lal Nath has already given hints that he may join BJP, two other party legislators - Gopal Roy and Birajit Sinha (present state chief of the party) - have indicated that they will stick to Congress.
Source: TOI-TheTimesOfIndia (TNN)