Nine Congress MLAs in Assam and loyalists of former Congress minister Himanta Bishwa Sarma , will formally don saffron on Friday in presence of the BJP’s national general secretary Ram Madhab following footsteps of Himanta Bishwa Sarma.
Assam BJP’s organization secretary Phani Sharma informed that the nine Congress MLAs who are set to join the BJP, include Pijush Hazarika, Jayanta Malla Baruah, Pallab Lochan Das, Pradan Barua, Rajen Borthakur, Bolin Chetia, Binanda Saikia, Kripanath Mallah and Abu Taher Bepari.
All these nine Congress MLAs had earlier met the BJP president Amit Shah in New Delhi on September 5 along with Sharma to express their willingness to join the BJP.
The BJP leadership then told the Congress MLAs to wait till the Assembly elections in Bihar were over to formally join the party.
With the nine more MLAs leaving its ranks, the Congress’ strength in the 126-member Assam Assembly will be reduced to 69 which, however, will be more than enough for the chief minister Tarun Gogoi to continue ruling the state.
Meanwhile, chief minister Tarun Gogoi has remained unfazed over dissertation of Congress MLAs to the BJP and described the BJP as a party which is surviving on leaders and workers borrowed from other parties.
Earlier, one sitting MLA from Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), Padma Hazarika joined the BJP on October 30 last while several senior AGP leaders including former ministers Hiten Goswami, Jagadish Bhuyan and former MLA, Hemanta Kalita joined the saffron party.