The MLAs — 10 of the 13 — who joined the BJP include five-term MLA Dorjee Tshering Lepcha, who served as a minister in the Chamling government for three terms, and three-term MLA Ugen Gyatso.
Lepcha said they were impressed with the Look East
policy of the Narendra Modi government. “We want lotus to bloom in Sikkim,” he said, referring to the BJP’s election symbol. The party’s immediate challenge in the state will be the by-elections to three seats.
The BJP had failed to win a single seat in the Sikkim Assembly polls, held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections, and secured an abysmal 1.62 per cent of the votes polled.