Guwahati: In a major shocker for Congress in Assam nine dissident MLAa from the party known as Himanta loyalists have joined BJP on Friday at a function held in BJP office at Hengrabri in Guwahati.
The dissident MLAs are Pradan Baruah, Nalbari MLA Jayanta Malla Barua, Raha MLA Pijush Hazarika, Tezpur MLA Rajen Borthakur, Behali MLA Pallab Lochan Das, Sipajhar MLA Binanda Saikia, Ratabari MLA Kripanath Malla, Golakganj MLA Abu Taher Bepari and Sadiya MLA Bolin Chetia. Of these nine, Chetia and Barua were parliamentary secretaries in the Tarun Gogoi government.
The programme in Hengerabari was attended by BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav. Lashing out at the Tarun Gogoi government in Assam, Madhav said that Gogoi is harbouring illegal Bangladeshis in the state.
He further said, “BJP is the future of Assam. Tarun Gogoi is sitting on the lap of AIUDF leader Badruddin Ajmal.”
Led by Himanta, the nine Congress MLAs had met BJP national president Amit Shah at his 11, Akbar Road residence in New Delhi on September 5 and expressed their desire to join the party.
The Congress had issued showcause notices to the MLAs a couple of days after they met Shah and later suspended them from the party.
With these nine MLAs joining the BJP following in the footsteps of Himanta Biswa Sarma, who joined the party on August 28, is seen as a major jolt to the ruling Congress ahead of next year’s election.
The BJP is gearing up for the polls in a big way and as a part of this strategy, the party has appointed one in-charge each for the 126 Assembly constituencies in the state to oversee the poll preparations.
On the other hand reacting to the development, Assam agriculture minister Rukibul Hussain accused the dissident MLAs of betraying people’s trust and called them opportunists. Assam Pradesh Congress Pradesh Congress Committee president Anjan Dutta had termed the dissidents as rough elements and said that their exit will not hamper the party in any way and will strengthen the internal fabric.