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Assam: Four-time Congress MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi joins BJP, says he feels ‘secure and happy’

Kurmi, a prominent leader from the tea tribe community who has represented the Mariani constituency in upper Assam since 2006, joined the ruling party in a function at Gerukamuch in Dhemaji district.

Written by Tora Agarwala | Guwahati |
June 21, 2021 7:54:35 pm
Kurmi, 43, said that he was feeling "secure and happy” after officially joining BJP.

Three days after resigning from the Congress and the Mariani assembly seat, four-time legislator Rupjyoti Kurmi joined the BJP in a ceremony on Monday.

Kurmi, a prominent leader from the tea tribe community who has represented the Mariani constituency in upper Assam since 2006, joined the ruling party in a function at Gerukamuch in Dhemaji district. Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s International Yoga Day program was also held at Gerukamuch.

“We welcome Sri Rupjyoti Kurmi to BJP family. A prominent leader from Tea – Tribe Community & 4-term MLA, he has always been working for uplift of poor & development of the region. @BJP4Assam shall immensely gain from his experience. Best wishes” tweeted Sarma after the ceremony.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Kurmi, 43, said that he was feeling “secure and happy” after officially joining the party. “My relationship with Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma goes back a long way. I trust that now my voice will be heard by him and other party leaders,” he said.

On Friday, Kurmi had told reporters that younger leaders like him had been sidelined in the Congress, and that the party’s central leadership was responsible for its repeated electoral failures across the country.

“For example, some of us were opposing the alliance with the AIUDF for the elections— even if we tried to express that, the party leaders did not pay attention. The party does not have a vision and is out of touch with ground realities,” he said.

In the elections to the 126-member Assam Assembly in March, the NDA won 75 seats while the Congress-led “grand alliance” — which included the AIUDF — bagged 50.

Kurmi’s mother, Rupam Kurmi, was a former Congress minister and three-time MLA.

“When I was with the Congress, I was dedicated to the party and loved it wholeheartedly,” Kurmi said, adding: “In all my years as an MLA, I have been known to be vocal in the assembly too but the [Congress] leaders did not understand or appreciate me.”

At the joining function, Sarma described Kurmi as a “strong youth leader” and said that he had worked for a number of issues, whether it was the Assam-Nagaland border issue or the welfare and progress of the tea tribe community.

“As part of the BJP, we believe he will work with the same enthusiasm for the development of Mariani,” said Sarma.

Kurmi said that he would focus on the development of the tea garden community. “I will see what we can do to better the status of the community by studying the issues that plague it — be it malnutrition, low infant and maternal mortality rates as well as the wage issue.”

After its defeat in the Assam Assembly election, Kurmi’s resignation comes as a jolt to the Congress party. On Friday, Assam Congress chief Ripun Bora constituted a three-member committee to “take stock of the political situation” in Mariani.

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