Guwahati, June 18: Congress on Friday expelled its four time heavyweight legislator from Mariani, Rupjyoti Kurmi amid speculations of him joining the ruling Bharariya Janata Party (BJP).
A notification undersigned by Assam Congress president Ripun Bora, stated that Kurmi has been expelled from the “Primary Membership of Indian National Congress with immediate effect for his anti party activities.”
On his part, Kurmi also resigned from the Assam Assembly sighting his resentment towards both central and state Congress’s functioning.
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’s disappointment with Congress
Rupjyoti Kurmi said, “The central high command under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership is a failure. As long as Sonia Gandhi was in charge, the Congress had won and it began to lose after Rahul Gandhi took over.”
“We had a good opportunity to win this Assam Assembly elections as we had major support from various fronts. But, the state and central command’s decision to strike alliance with AIUDF (All India United Democratic Front) was a blunder,” Kurmi added.
Assam Congress ahead of the Assembly elections this year had forged an alliance with nine other parties including its once arch enemy AIUDF, a move widely criticised for the latter’s vote base consisting mostly of Bengali-speaking Muslims along the Indo-Bangladesh borders who are considered illegal migrants by most of Assam’s masses.
Kurmi’s growing closeness with BJP
According to party sources, Kurmi had on Thursday night rushed from Mariani in Upper Assam’s Jorhat district to Guwahati, travelling about 335 kms to hold meetings with BJP leaders.
“He was in contact with the BJP leaders in his constituency for quite some time and had been in touch with BJP’s minister Pijush Hazarika,” a source said.
Hinting Kurmi’s shift to BJP, its heavyweight state Minister from Jagiroad, and considered a close confidante to Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Pijush Hazarika, said, “He (Kurmi) will be an asset to any party he joins.”
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 own unique ways.
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 to more may follow suit.
The Congress-led Mahajot had secured 50 seats in the Assam Assembly elections, the results of which were declared on last May 2, of which, Congress secured 29 seats while the BJP-led alliance secured 75 seats of which BJP came out as single largest party with 60 seats.
Speculations are that after Kurmi’s resignation, by-elections will be held at Mariani for which Kurmi may contest again on behalf of BJP.