Manik Saha has become the third chief minister in the northeast after N Biren Singh of Manipur and Himanta Biswa Sarma of Assam who have had a long political innings in the Congress. The party claims that the BJP is now full of former Congress leaders and many have been given plum ministerial berths in the state and union governments.
Saha, who had quit the Congress and joined the BJP in 2016, was appointed the BJP's state president in 2020. He had replaced Biplab Kumar Deb who ended the 25-year-old Communist rule in 2018. Similarly, Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh was in the Congress and a minister in the state government led by the Congress before joining the BJP.
In 2002, Singh was elected to the Manipur assembly as the Democratic Revolutionary People's Party candidate.
Later he joined the Congress and was made a minister but quit in 2016.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta BIswa Sarma was one of the high profile ministers in the Tarun Gogoi government but a turf war between Gogoi and Sarma led to the exit of Sarma who later joined the BJP. He is being credited for the BJP's success in the entire northeast.
The other high profile leaders in BJP governments are Jyotiraditya Scindia as Union Minister of Civil Aviation and Jitin Prasada as PWD minister in the UP government. Recently RPN Singh too left the Congress to join the BJP.
The Congress has witnessed an exodus in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka also where scores of MLAs left to join the BJP which led to the fall of the Congress government in MP and a coalition government in Karnataka. Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, ex-Foreign Minister S M Krishna, Uttarakhand minister Satpal Maharaj and most recently Amarinder Singh in Punjab and Sunil Jakhar are some other leaders who have deserted the Congress since it lost the polls in 2014.
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