9 Congress MLAs in Assam join BJP

Nine Congress MLAs in Assam joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today, within two months of one-time Congress strongman and dissident leader Himanta Biswa Sarma joining the saffron party.

The nine legislators joined BJP at a special function in its state head office attended by the party’s national general secretary Ram Madhav, state unit president Sidhartha Bhattacharjee, Himanta and other party leaders.

The MLAs are Bolin Chetia, Pradan Barua, Pallab Lochan Das, Rajen Borthakur, Pijush Hazarika, Kripanath Mallah, Abu Taher Bepari, Binanda Saikia and Jayanta Mallah Barua.

The nine known Himanta loyalists had met BJP national president Amit Shah in New Delhi in September last in the run up to their formally joining the party today.

On August 30 last Assam Congress president Anjan Dutta had suspended Jayanta Mallah Barua, Pijush Hazarika, Pallab Lochan Das and Pradan Barua from party membership and issued show cause notice to Abu Taher Bepari, Kripanath Mallah, Rajen Borthakur, Binanda Kumar Saikia and Bolin Chetia for ‘anti-party activities’.

Action was taken against the nine MLAs for their anti-party activity of welcoming their former party colleague and ex-minister Himanta Sarma at the Guwahati airport when he was returning to the city from Delhi to join the BJP on August 28 last.

The Congress Assam unit executive committee had passed a resolution on October 4 last to expel the nine MLAs for dissidence and anti-party activities after a recommendation of its disciplinary body to the effect.