Five of six MLAs of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United) in Manipur joined the ruling BJP on Friday, a statement from the state assembly said, weeks after he broke off an alliance with the party for the second time in nine years.
The statement signed by Manipur Assembly Secretary K Meghajit Singh said that the Speaker was pleased to accept the merger of five JDU MLAs with the BJP. Since the number of MLAs who switched sides was greater than two thirds of the total, their switch will be considered valid.
This is the second time the BJP targeted Nitish Kumar party's legislators in the northeast. In 2020, six of seven JDU legislators had joined the BJP in Arunachal Pradesh and last week the lone MLA also merged in BJP.
The JDU had won six of the 38 constituencies it had contested in the assembly elections held in March this year. The MLAs who joined the BJP are Kh Joykishan, N Sanate, Md Achab Uddin, former DGP L M Khaute and Thangjam Arunkumar.
Mr Khaute and Mr Arunkumar had previously sought to contest the assembly polls for the BJP, but joined the JDU after being turned down by the party.
The move by the MLAs comes weeks after Nitish Kumar dumped the BJP and joined forces with Tejashwi Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Congress and other parties, displacing the BJP from the co-pilot's seat in Bihar.