Congress now stands with 24 MLAs in the 60-member Meghalaya Assembly. Photograph:( ANI )
In a major setback to the ruling Congress, four MLAs in Meghalaya joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in presence of Union Minister KJ Alphons and national general secretary Ram Madhav, on Tuesday.
The four legislators, including Congress'Alexander Hek, resigned from the Meghalaya Assembly to join the ruling-Centre.
The development comes ahead of the scheduled 2018 state assembly elections.
Last year, five MLAs of Mukul Sangma-led Congress government resigned from the state Assembly to join National People's Party, an ally of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
The five MLAs included former deputy chief minister Rowell Lyngdoh also.
BJP state President Shibun Lyngdoh said all the four legislators decided to join the BJP after observing the overall performance of the BJP-led NDA government at the national level.
Earlier in the day, Ram Madhav credited the induction of Congress MLAs in BJP to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
As of now, Congress stands with 24 MLAs in the 60-member Meghalaya Assembly.