Apang had joined the BJP in 2014. Credit: File Image

ITANAGAR: Former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Gegong Apang, who recently tendered his resignation from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has joined the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) headed by former prime minister H D Deve Gowda.

He joined the JD-S on Wednesday.

Claiming unhappiness regarding the party’s functioning, Apang had on January 15 parted ways with the BJP after remaining in the party fold for almost 5 years.

Apang, in his resignation letter, had alleged that the BJP was no longer following the principles of late Atal Bihari Vajpayee and was now a platform to seek power and the leaders no longer believed in the values it was founded on.

Speaking to reporters about his new venture with the JD-S, Apang said he joined the party because it is a “secular” one.

“I have worker with Deve Gowda in the past and this will help me in the long run too,” said Apang while adding that the BJP’s “anti-indigenous” decision to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was one of the major reasons he had decided to quit the party.

He also expressed his resentment over the BJP-led state government’s decision to grant permanent resident certificates to the non-Arunachalee communities of Namsai and Chanaglang districts.

Answering queries on where he would fight the assembly polls using a JD-S ticket, the ex-chief minister said he would do so without a doubt. He, however, did not disclose which part of the State he would be contesting the elections from.

Apang served as the chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh from January 18, 1980 to January 19, 1999 and again from August 2003 to April 2007.

He won the 1978, 1980 and 1984 assembly elections from the then Yingkiong-Pangin Assembly Constituency and later won the 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2004 assembly elections from Upper Siang district’s Tuting-Yingkiong Assembly Constituency.

Arunachal Pradesh, which is ruled by a BJP-led coalition, is likely to go to polls in April or May.

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