Jammu: BJP MLA from Hiranagar constituency Durga Das on Monday joined the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) after being denied a ticket to contest the upcoming Assembly elections.
Das, who was expelled from BJP in connection with cash- for-vote scam in the Legislative Council polls in 2011, today join Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP).
JKNPP chief Prof Bhim Singh and other senior leaders welcomed him to the party.
On Sunday, BJP MLA from Basohli assembly constituency Jagdish Raj Sapolia quit the saffron outfit to join Congress.
Das is among the seven sitting MLAs of BJP, who had not been given the ticket to contest the assembly elections.
"I was expelled from the party (BJP) in the cash-for-vote scam but I was always open to undergo a narco test to prove my innocence, but the party leadership did not listen to me," Das told reporters after joining JKNPP.
He accused the BJP of using the 'expelled' MLAs during the parliamentary elections. "They took all the expelled MLAs back into the party fold and used us during parliamentary elections. We were party loyalists so we supported the party candidate, but the party later ditched us," Das claimed.
He claimed the people of Hiranagar support him and wanted him to contest the election as an Independent candidate. "But I wanted a party symbol as I don't have enough resources to contest elections as an Independent. As JKNPP is fighting for the rights of the Jammu region, I decided to join them," he said.
Welcoming the BJP MLA into his party, JKNPP chief Singh said, "The BJP has failed to keep its flock together, the party cannot keep its 11 MLAs together, how do you expect them to achieve its mission 44+."
Bhim Singh made an open invitation to the remaining MLAs of BJP to join JKNPP. "All the people (MLAs) who are now disillusioned with their party (BJP) are welcome to join JKNPP," Singh said.
Jammu and Kashmir goes to assembly polls in five phases from November 25.