10 SDF MLAs join BJP in Sikkim

As many as 10 MLAs of the Sikkim Democratic Front joined the BJP on Tuesday, propelling the saffron party to the status of the main opposition in a state where it had not won a single seat in the recent assembly polls.

The MLAs met BJP working president J.P Nadda and joined the party in the presence of its general secretary Ram Madhav, who is in charge of the party's affairs in the north east.

Madhav told reporters that the SDF had a strength of 13 MLAs and its legislature party decided to merge with the BJP.

The BJP is running government as the main party or in alliance with regional parties in all the northeastern states except Sikkim and this development has pushed the party closer to power there as well.

Two-thirds or more numbers of the MLAs of a party can join another party without violating the anti-defection law.

The SDF headed by Pawan Kumar Chamling ruled the state for over 25 years, making him the longest-serving chief minister of the country but he lost power in the recent elections.