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Apang-led parties merge with BJP

August 24, 2003 17:44 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday gave the green signal to the Gegong Apang-led coalition parties in Arunachal Pradesh to merge with it.

Arunachal is now the first state in the northeast to be governed by the BJP.

Following a high-level meeting at the residence of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, party president M Venkaiah Naidu said he had asked general secretary (organisation) for the northeastern states, V Satish, to help the state unit complete the formalities.

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Naidu said besides the Congress (D) with 36 MLAs, Apang's Arunachal Congress, an unattached member and two Independents had written letters to him expressing their desire to join the BJP.

"We have decided to set in motion the process of completing the formalities of the merger," he said.

Apang had last week met Naidu at the party headquarters in New Delhi to discuss the modalities of the merger.

Asked about the Congress charge that the BJP had engineered "wholesale defection" in Arunachal, Naidu said, "When 12 BJP MLAs in Chhattisgarh were made ministers by Chief Minister Ajit Jogi, they did not moralise. The Arunachal MLAs have joined our party owing to disillusionment with the Congress."

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