On Monday, June 21, Rupjyoti Kurmi joined the BJP in the presence of Chief Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma at Gerukamuch in Dhemaji district. Kurmi, who was a four-time Congress MLA from Mariani in Jorhat district, had submitted his resignation to the Speaker of the State Assembly on June 18. He has been a prominent leader of the tea-tribe community in Assam.
“We welcome Sri Rupjyoti Kurmi to the BJP family. A prominent leader from Tea - Tribe Community & 4-term MLA, he has always been working for uplift of poor & development of the region. BJP Assam Pradesh shall immensely gain from his experience.”, tweeted Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
As reasons for his departure, Kurmi had alleged that the party high command didn’t listen to the younger leaders. He added that he was promised the post of Leader of Opposition in the Assembly which he was later denied. He had also applied for the post of the party’s state president but to no avail. He said that the party didn’t include his name in the list of members for the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) either. “It seems the Congress doesn’t want leaders like me, who belong to a particular community, to rise.”, Kurmi had said on Friday. Apparently, Kurmi was against the alliance with AIUDF and he felt it would harm party prospects in the recently concluded elections. The 10 party ‘grand-alliance’ or Mahajot led by the Congress won 50 of the 126 seats, in comparison to the BJP Mitrajot’s 75. The Congress had won 29 seats while the AIUDF had won 16.
Meanwhile, immediately after news of Kurmi’s departure broke, the Congress formed a committee to take stock of the political situation and to boost the morale of the party workers in Mariani.
“Congress under leaders such as Rahul Gandhi is a sinking ship. In Assam, there’s a lobby of leaders in the party which is interested in promoting only its personal interests. The party overlooked indigenous people of the state and gave importance to immigrant Muslims from Bangladesh,” Kurmi said on Monday.