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Blow to Congress in Assam ahead of Lok Sabha polls, two more MLAs extend support to CM Himanta-led BJP govt

Congress has been dealt a big blow in Assam before the Lok Sabha polls as the working president of the party and three-time MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha has decided to join hands with BJP.

Shashwat Bhandari Edited By: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Published on: February 14, 2024 14:30 IST
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma during a presser
Image Source : PTI Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma during a presser in Guwahati. (File photo)

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday informed that two more Congress MLAs have extended their support to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Assam, adding in total now four MLAs are supporting the government.

In a latest, Assam Congress MLAs Kamalakshya Dey Purkayasta and Basanta Das have extended support to the BJP in the Legislative Assembly.

Kamalakshya Dey Purkayasta who was the working president of the Congress party in Assam has tendered his resignation.

"Today, two Congress MLAs Basanta Das and Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha have extended their support to the Assam government. Earlier, two Congress MLAs Sashi Kanta Das and Siddique Ahmed had extended their support. So far, four Congress MLAs have extended their support to the government. In coming days, all opposition MLAs will extend their support to the government," Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

Adding further, Sarma said, "Assam will become a state where all MLAs will support state government and central government. Now, people are very happy with the kind of work that PM Modi is doing in Assam. State government is also trying to complement, it's a double-engine government. In heart and mind, there is no opposition in Assam but because of certain compulsion, they are in opposition. Now, people are breaking that compulsion and coming closer to us..."

Blow to Congress ahead of Lok Sabha polls

Kamalakshya Dey Purkayastha started his political journey with NSUI, the student wing of the Congress party. Later he joined the Youth Congress and eventually became an MLA from Karimganj district in 2011.

Amidst a saffron storm in the state in 2016, Purkayastha was able to win his North Karimganj assembly constituency for the second time. He won the same seat again in 2021 and became the working president of Congress in Assam.

Apart from that, Purkayastha is a vocal leader and he has been often seen fiercely attacking the BJP and Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on numerous issues.

After a series of meetings with the Chief Minister recently, Purkayastha was offered to join hands with the BJP, and according to sources, he has accepted that.

The Congress MLA said, “Yes, I have got an offer from the Chief Minister and I accepted his proposal.”

Meanwhile, it is not clear whether Purkayastha will directly join the saffron camp or will support the BJP-led government inside and outside the assembly.

According to sources, Sarma has advised Purkayastha to announce his support for the BJP without resigning from the Congress so that he does not lose the MLA post as of now.

Another MLA Shashikanta Das who won from Raha constituency on Congress’ ticket earlier supported the BJP in the same way. The Congress suspended Das from the party, however, he could continue functioning as an MLA without any bi-election.

In southern Assam’s Barak valley region, Purkayastha was the most prominent face of the Congress. Following his departure, the grand old party will face a major setback in that region just before the Lok Sabha polls.

ALSO READ | Assam: Himanta Cabinet gives nod to bill to ban magical healing

 

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