Former Assam Minister joins BJP

Sarma’s joining BJP will not hit Congress in Assembly polls: Gogoi

August 25, 2015 03:03 am | Updated March 29, 2016 05:14 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Rebel Congress leader Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday thanked BJP president Amit Shah for giving him the privilege of joining the party.

“I express my deep gratitude to BJP president Amit Shahji for giving me the privilege to join the party and serve the people of Assam under the strong and vibrant leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Mr. Sarma said in a Facebook message, a day after he made the announcement.

“I am truly overwhelmed by the warm and positive messages pouring in since Sunday,” he added.

Mr. Sarma, once a close associate of Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, had met Mr. Shah in New Delhi on Sunday where it was decided that he would join the party soon after completing all the necessary formalities in Guwahati.

He was an asset: Gogoi Meanwhile, Mr. Gogoi said Mr. Sarma was “one of the assets” while he was a part of the government, but the former Minister’s departure would not affect the ruling Congress in the 2016 Assembly polls.

“Joining and leaving is part of any political party,” he said. Asked about his association with Mr. Sarma, Mr. Gogoi said: “He was one of the assets. I never said he was inefficient and that is why I gave him important ministerial berths.”

Congress leader P.L. Punia, however, said Mr. Sarma was joining the BJP for his own benefit.

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