North Bengal: Five BJP MLAs skip party's meet

Darjeeling: With the recent spate of crossovers from BJP to TMC, the absence of 5 MLAs from an important organizational meeting of the BJP in Siliguri sparked controversy in North Bengal.

The BJP had called for an organisational meeting in Siliguri to be attended by 29 MLAs of North Bengal.

MPs Raju Bista and John Barla were also present in the meet. The meeting was to decide the route map for the BJP.

Out of 29 MLAs, 24 were present in the meeting on Wednesday.

The list of missing MLAs includes Gopal Chandar Saha of Malda; Manoj Oraon of Kumargram; Ashok Lahiri of Balurghat; Satyendra Nath Roy of Gangarampur and Jowel Murmu of Habibpur.

Out of the 5, the MLAs of Balurghat and Gangarampur had informed the party that they would not be able to attend prior to the meeting. The rest stayed away without informing the party.

When questioned on this, Raju Bista, the BJP MP from Darjeeling downplayed the incident stating that some were sick, while others faced deaths in the families.

"I can guarantee that the 29 BJP MLAs of North Bengal are together. We are not in BJP for power or chair. We are here in support of BJP's ideology of 'Nation comes first.' The meeting was decided on a short notice and 24 were present," stated Bista.

He, however, stated that the BJP now has 77 MLAs.

"If two or three MLAs go away also nothing will happen to the BJP," added the Darjeeling MP.

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