Nine Congress MLAs of Assam, who met BJP chief Amit Shah in Delhi last week and expressed their wish to join the party, are caught in a tricky situation.
While the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee has served them showcause notices, the BJP is yet to decide on whether to admit them into the party or not.
The MLAs are facing double opposition in their constituencies. While Congress workers in those constituencies have accused them of betraying the party and voters, BJP grassroots workers do not want their party to give them tickets for the 2016 assembly polls.
The nine Congress MLAs, who met Shah at the instance of former Assam Congress strongman Himanta Biswa Sarma are Jayanta Malla Barua, who represents the Nalbari LAC segment, Pijush Hazarika (Raha), Rajen Borthakur (Tezpur), Pallab Lochan Das (Behali), Binanda Saikia (Sipajhar), Kripanath Malla (Ratabari), Abu Taher Bepari (Golakganj), Bolin Chetia (Sadiya) and Pradan Barua (Jonai). Of them, Chetia and Barua are also parliamentary secretaries in the Tarun Gogoi government.
Sarma, who joined the BJP on August 29, had earlier said that 10 more Congress MLAs were waiting to join the party. However, Sarma, who is MLA from Jalukbari constituency since 2001, is yet to resign from his post.
Meanwhile, at least three BJP MPs have expressed their displeasure on the plan to take in the Congress MLAs. Nagaon MP, Rajen Gohain, has said one cannot “absolve oneself of past sins” by simply joining the BJP. Tezpur MP Ram Prasad Sarma, on the other hand, has said the BJP was not an NGO but a disciplined and democratic political party where grassroots workers have to be heard before giving tickets for the assembly elections.