By Devabrata Dutta
GUWAHATI: The three-member committee constituted by the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) to take stock of the political ground of Mariani LAC, after their fourth time MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi resigned from his party and post to join Bharatiya Janata Party, has claimed that Congress is still strong as before in the constituency.
Kurmi’s exit was indeed a major blow to the party. But after taking stock of Mariani’s political ground, Congress three members committee comprising Rana Goswami, Sushanta Borgohain and Manoj Dhanowar claimed that Kurmi’s exit has no impact on Congress base in the constituency.
“If we say that only an individual is strong then it would be wrong. Congress party is strong in Mariani, hence was Kurmi,” said committee member and Thowra MLA Sushanta Borgohain.
“Mariani had Congress MLAs before Rupjyoti Kurmi. Indeed his exit is a void in the party but still, we have to move our party forward and a party introduces a leader, a leader does not introduce the party,” Borgohain added further.
Mariani, which is known to be a fortress of Congress, was held by Rupjyoti Kurmi since 2006. Kurmi’s mother late Rupam Kurmi was also a three-time Congress MLA from there and she served as a cabinet minister as well.
It is to be believed that Congress has its base in Mariani LAC due to the Kurmis. Above all, Congress which used to have a base in the tea tribes of Assam is now losing it to the BJP. Kurmi was their sole tea tribe leader and one of the only five Congress MLAs from Upper Assam.
Rupjyoti Kurmi, while making his exit from the party, made a lot of allegations against the party and its leadership including APCC president Ripun Bora. Kurmi, who wanted the president post to himself and declared it very openly, also accused Ripun Bora and Rakibul Hussain of ‘destroying the party to the core’.
“The party gave him enough credit and respect as it used to give top his mother. But being in the party he did a lot of things in front of the media which directly goes against the party’s integrity. Everyone has frustration and anger, even I do,” said the committee chairman and former Jorhat MLA Rana Goswami.
“All the things Rupjyoti said was not entirely wrong, I must say. But I believe few things can be discussed on a party platform rather than media. Otherwise, as a national party, it gets hard to accept that,” Goswami added further taking the reference to Kurmi’s hunger strike in front of Rajiv Bhawan in 2016 in Guwahati against the decision of Rahul Gandhi being made the party national president.
With Kurmi’s exit, a few other Congress MLA’s names are also going around the surface, including Sushanta Borgohain’s name itself, and if rumors are to be believed that they might quit from Congress as well.
On being asked, Sushanta Borgohain said, “I am in Congress because I am attracted to their ideology not because I am hoping for something. I have no plans to quit.”
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