11 Assam Congress MLAs to join AGP and BJP, one AIUDF

11 Assam Congress MLAs to join AGP and BJP, one AIUDF

Rift in Assam Congress party, about dozen to join AGP and BJP and one in AIUDF

Rift in Assam Congress, 12 MLAs to join AGP, BJP and one in AIUDF Rift in Assam Congress, 12 MLAs to join AGP, BJP and one in AIUDF

Around a dozen current Congress MLAs in Assam are likely to join the BJP or AGP—both constituents of the NDA in the next few weeks. Four of these MLAs are from the Goalpara district, two each are from Kamrup (rural), Karimganj, and upper Assam, and one each from middle Assam and Barpeta. One of them will join the AIUDF. This was confirmed to India Today NE by sources in all four parties involved.

Congress has recently faced a lot of infighting, particularly after the cross-voting in the recently concluded presidential elections. Assam witnessed the highest number of cross-voting across the country. Twenty legislators, 12 from Congress, 9 from AIUDF and one from a regional party, voted for NDA candidate Draupadi Murmu, though they were supposed to vote for UPA candidate Yashwant Sinha.

India Today NE was the first to predict that there would be cross-voting in the presidential election, and it was proved to be accurate.

In the last year, two Congress MLAs, Sushanta Borgohain from Thowra Constituency and Rupjyoti Kurmi from the Mariani Constituency, and one AIUDF MLA, Phanidhar Talukdar from Bhabanipur constituency, have already joined the BJP. Another Congress legislator from Shashi Kanta Das has publicly pledged to support Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma-led BJP government in the assembly.

In fact, Congress has lost several stalwarts since former Congressman Sarma joined the BJP in 2015. Around a dozen of his supporters who were Congress, MLAs had joined the saffron party with him. In 2016, Sarma and his team were instrumental in bringing the BJP to power for the first time in the state. Five years later, he repeated the performance and was rewarded with the chair of the chief minister.

Meanwhile, the Congress downslide continued and has lost two of its former allies too—the AIUDF and BPF. The grand old party has not been able to win a single election, including civic polls, since Sarma left the party. Its vote share dropped to under 30 per cent in 2021 from a high of nearly 40 per cent in 2011.