Updated: June 18, 2021 6:51:26 pm
Following its defeat in the Assam Assembly election, the state Congress Friday suffered another jolt as four-time legislator Rupjyoti Kurmi, a prominent leader from the tea tribe community, resigned from the party and Assembly, announcing a switch to the BJP.
He 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. Kurmi, 43, is the son of the former Congress minister and three-time MLA Rupam Kurmi.
Congress, meanwhile, suspended him from its primary membership for “anti-party activities”.
Kurmi said the opinion of some Congress leaders like him that an alliance with the Badruddin Ajmal-led AIUDF would be detrimental to the interests of the party was not considered. In the elections to the 126-member Assam Assembly, the NDA won 75 seats while the Congress-led “grand alliance” — which included the AIUDF — bagged 50.
Kurmi also criticised the organisational functioning of the state unit of the party. He said he has sent his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, adding that he would join the BJP on June 21.
State Congress chief Ripun Bora has constituted a three-member committee to “take stock of the political situation” in Mariani, the constituency that Kurmi represents.
The committee will visit Mariani and interact with Congress office-bearers and workers there “to boost up the moral (sic) of the Congress workers”, a party statement said.
Bora told reporters that Kurmi was an “asset” to Congress and had been among the most vocal leaders against the BJP. He said the party has overcome many such challenges in the past and come out stronger.
“We could never imagine that the person who was criticising the BJP till yesterday would suddenly decide to join the BJP today,” Bora said.
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