Putting rest to speculations, former Assam Congress’s four-time MLA from Mariani, Rupjyoti Kurmi had on Monday formally joined the ruling BJP at a public event at Lakhimpur district in Upper Assam in the presence of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Kurmi was on Friday expelled from the Congress for his “anti-party activities” and he had resigned from the Assam Assembly on the same day.
Welcoming Kurmi to the party, CM Sarma described him as one of the strongest youth leaders in the state.
He said Kurmi was ready to join the BJP in 2019, but that couldn’t happen. He said Kurmi joining the party would be of great help.
Kurmi was the only Congress legislator who had won from Congress from the 29 tea tribe majority seats in the 126 member Assam Assembly.
Kurmi had blamed the Congress leadership for not acknowledging his contribution towards the party and refusing to give him any position of responsibility like President of the APCC or leader of the CLP, which he had sought. “The party is headed for ruin in the state,” he said.
Kurmi is very popular in his constituency and among a certain section of youths for his eccentric ways and for raising voices about several issues in his unique style.
There were instances when speculations were raised about him leaving Congress but, later, Kurmi nullified those saying, “I had to stay with Congress because my deceased mother came to my dreams and told me to stay in the party.”
After Ajanta Neog, a loyalist of the former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, had joined the BJP months after Gogoi’s demise last year, Kurmi is next and he says, more may follow the suit.
The Congress-led Mahajot had secured 50 seats in the Assam Assembly elections the results of which were declared last May 2, of which, Congress secured 29 seats while the BJP-led alliance secured 75 seats of which BJP came out as the single largest party with 60 seats.
Speculations are that with Kurmi’s resignation, the Mariani seat which currently lies vacant, he may contest again in the by-elections on behalf of BJP.