Ranchi (Jharkhand): Ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections, four MLAs from opposition parties joined the BJP in the presence of chief minister Raghubar Das on Wednesday in Ranchi.

Sukhdeo Bhagat and Manoj Yadav of the Congress, Kunal Sarangi of the JMM and independent MLA Bhanu Pratap Sahi have joined the BJP, party sources said.

The Congress had nine MLAs in Jharkhand and has been reduced to seven with two MLAs joining the BJP.

Similarly, the JMM also had 19 MLAs before Kunal Sarangi quit the party to join the BJP.

Another JMM MLA Jaiprakash Bhai Patel, who was expected to join the BJP, did not turn up, sources said. With the induction of the four MLAs, the BJP's strength in the 81-member House has risen to 47.

Apart from MLAs, former Jharkhand police chief Dinesh Kumar Pandey, and former IAS officer Suchitra Sinha also joined the BJP.

Chief minister Raghubar Das welcomed the MLAs and former bureaucrats into the party and said they were influenced by the party's ideology of 'Sab ka saath, sab ka Vikas'.

"All these people have joined the BJP to give a stable government in the interest of society and the state. They believe in the BJPs ideology, which is a happy message to the state, as the people of the country and the state have rejected dynastic politics," Das said, speaking to PTI.

Assembly elections to Jharkhand are likely to be held in November-December.