Other States

Assam MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi resigns from Congress, set to join BJP

Rupjyoti Kurmi handing his resignation letter to the Assam Assembly Speaker in Guwahati on Friday.  

The Congress in Assam lost one of its 29 MLAs in the 126-member House. Rupjyoti Kurmi is set to join the BJP on June 21.

The a tea community leader submitted his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi as well as Assembly Speaker Biswajit Daimary on June 18.

He had won the Mariani constituency in eastern Assam four times in a row since 2006 and was the only Congress MLA representing the tea plantation workers – once the grand old party’s assured vote bank – to have won in the 2021 Assembly polls held from March 27-April 6.

“I will be joining the BJP at a function on Monday,” Mr. Kurmi said after his resignation. The BJP is expected to field him as its candidate when by-election to Mariani is held along with two other seats lying vacant after their representatives died from COVID-19 a month ago.

Mr. Kurmi, son of former Congress Minister Rupam Kurmi, made it clear that he quit the Congress after he was snubbed for the State president’s post. He was reportedly one of the contenders for the post after incumbent Ripun Bora decided to step down for the party’s electoral loss.

“Young leaders do not get a chance in the Congress. The same person will be given two-three posts year after year. The Congress ignores newcomers, grass roots workers and indigenous minority leaders,” he told journalists.

“Am I not capable of being APCC [Assam Pradesh Congress Committee] president? They did not even consider me for the post of Chief Whip of Congress Legislature Party,” he said.

Expulsion

The APCC reacted by issuing a statement that Mr. Kurmi had been expelled from the party for “anti-party activities”. It said the AICC (All India Congress Committee) approved his expulsion.

The State Congress also said a three-member team headed by former MLA Rana Goswami would visit the Mariani constituency to take stock of the political situation there.

Senior Congress MLA and former Minister Bharat Narah said his Mariani counterpart’s resignation was a big blow to the party. “We need to analyse the reasons behind his quitting and take steps accordingly,” he added.

There are speculations that another MLA from eastern Assam would quit the Congress and join the BJP.

Mr. Kurmi was known to be a loyalist of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma when he was with the Congress until 2015. But he resisted migrating to the BJP when Dr. Sarma switched over, taking nine more Congress MLAs with him.


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Printable version | Jul 23, 2021 10:42:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/assam-mla-rupjyoti-kurmi-resigns-from-congress-set-to-join-bjp/article34847019.ece

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