Several Congress and student leaders join BJP in Assam ahead of LS polls - Hindustan Times

Several Congress and student leaders join BJP in Assam ahead of LS polls

Jan 28, 2024 08:33 PM IST

Those who joined the BJP include former Assam Youth Congress president Angkita Dutta, who was expelled from rhw Congress last year after she filed a harassment case against IYC national president Srinivas BV

Several senior Congress leaders from Assam and the state’s biggest student body joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the coming Lok Sabha polls at an event held at the party’s headquarters in Guwahati on Sunday.

Newly-joined BJP leaders Angkita Dutta and Bismita Gogoi at the party headquarters in Guwahati on Sunday. (ANI Photo) (ANI)
Newly-joined BJP leaders Angkita Dutta and Bismita Gogoi at the party headquarters in Guwahati on Sunday. (ANI Photo) (ANI)

Those who joined the BJP include former Congress minister Bismita Gogoi, former president of the Assam unit of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) Angkita Dutta, former president and vice president of the All Assam Students Union (AASU) Dipanka Kumar Nath and Prakash Das, respectively, and former deputy speaker of the state assembly Dilip Paul.

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While Bismita is the daughter-in-law of former Congress leader Jiba Kanta Gogoi and a former MLA from Khumtai, Dutta is the daughter of former Congress minister Anjan Dutta. She was expelled from Congress last year after she filed a case of harassment against IYC national president Srinivas BV.

BJP leaders including the party’s state unit chief Bhabesh Kalita and several ministers were present at the event.

“We are happy that these leaders from the Congress and the AASU have decided to join us. Today’s event is part of an ongoing process of people from other parties joining the BJP. We expect more people to join us ahead of the Lok Sabha polls,” Kalita said.

He mentioned that these leaders have joined the BJP without any pre-condition, and they are unlikely to get party tickets for the coming Lok Sabha polls.

Significantly, Sunday’s event took place three days after the end of the Assam leg of the Congress’ Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra led by Rahul Gandhi.

“Wherever Rahul passes through, the Congress will get decimated in those places. He is very uninspiring, arrogant and has no leadership qualities. In fact, he is the BJP’s star campaigner,” Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Sunday.

“The Congress has lost its ideology at present. The party’s only plan is how to resurrect Rahul Gandhi’s declining political fortunes. It was also disheartening that during the recent Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, Gandhi didn’t interact with me to give me justice about the harassment I faced,” said Ankita Dutta.

Bismita Gogoi said she felt disappointed that there were questions raised in the party about her dress during the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. She added that she faced mental harassment at the party and was not given any responsibility despite being a grassroots leader.

“Government jobs in Assam used to be sold during the Congress rule. But now the present BJP government has given 100,000 jobs without taking even a single rupee from applicants,” former AASU president Dipanka Kumar Nath.

Commenting on the decision by several key leaders to quit the party, Assam Congress chief Bhupen Kumar Borah said that that the party was happy to get rid of people who are not committed to its ideals.

“Ankita Dutta was no longer a Congress member as she was expelled for six years on disciplinary grounds and Bismita Gogoi, who had lost two consecutive assembly elections, had been inactive in the party since 2021. We are not bothered by their exit,” Borah told HT.

When contacted, AASU adviser Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya said that he will comment on the move by his former colleagues to join the BJP later.

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    Utpal is a Senior Assistant Editor based in Guwahati. He covers seven states of North-East India and heads the editorial team for the region. He was previously based in Kathmandu, Dehradun and Delhi with Hindustan Times.

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