Six Tripura MLAs, who were earlier sacked by the Trinamool Congress and who had voted for NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind in the July 17 presidential election, today formally joined the BJP. The six legislators, led by former leader of the opposition (Congress) in the Tripura Assembly Sudip Roy Burman, were welcomed into the saffron party by Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan, the party's North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convener Himanta Biswa Sarma, state BJP chief Biplab Kumar Deb and state party observer Sunil Deodhar. Besides Roy Burman, the other MLAs are Ashish Kumar Saha, Diba Chandra Hrangkhawl, Biswa Bandhu Sen, Pranjit Singha Roy and Dilip Sarkar. The MLAs had met BJP president Amit Shah in Delhi on August 5. On July 3, TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee had said the party would have no relations with the six MLAs. The six legislators had quit the Congress and joined the TMC in protest against the Congress' electoral tie-up with the Left, ahead of the 2016 West Bengal Assembly election. In the run-up to the presidential poll, the MLAs had announced that they would not vote for a candidate supported by the CPI(M) and were sacked by the TMC.
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