The Congress in Assam suffered a blow as one of its prominent MLAs Rupjyoti Kurmi resigned from the assembly and declared to join BJP.
Kurmi, a four-time legislator from Mariani in Johar district, leaves the Congress stating that only top people or the leaders in the party are heard and that Rahul Gandhi is unable to shoulder the leadership of the party.
He also condemned the party leadership for supporting Badruddin Ajmal’s All India United Democratic Front in the Assam elections. As soon as Rupjyoti Kurmi announced his resignation, Congress announced his expulsion.
Mr. Kurmi said that he was totally against any kind of tie-up between AIDUF and Congress, but the party didn’t take his advice seriously and paid for it in the April-May election in Assam, in which BJP was elected again.
The exit comes days after former Union Minister Jitin Prasada left Congress to join the BJP. Rupjyoti Kurmi’s hasn’t fetched enormous media attention as compared to that of Jitin Prasada’s but it’s believed to be a big setback for Congress as Mr. Kurmi was the only MLA from the Congress representing the tea tribe community.
Certainly, this has been a difficult decision for Rupjyoti Kurmi. “I was born to a Congress family; we grew up in Congress culture. I used to put up posters, I served tea in meetings. My mother was a minister…I have been a soldier of Congress. That is why it is a difficult decision,” Mr. Kurmi told NDTV in an interview.
Kurmi was displeased by the fact that allegedly young leaders were not being promoted and had no place in the party. He said that he wrote his concern to the party President Sonia Gandhi mentioning that he was raised in a Congress family and has been serving the party sincerely for a very long time but it didn’t yield any results.
Mr. Kurmi said, “Rahul Ji can’t do anything” and blames Rahul Gandhi for the downfall of Congress. He also stated that recent state elections are evident in the fact that Congress is going to suffer if it keeps on giving importance to Rahul Gandhi and in the end, the party will lose its relevance.
He attributed Ashok Gehlot, Bhupesh Baghel, and Capt. Amarinder Singh with the party’s success in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Punjab respectively. “We did not find any contributions of central leaders in these states,” he said.
Congress Leader Debabrata Saikia, in response to all of this, said that Kurmi was a very loyal party worker and a senior leader. Saikia thinks that although his disagreement with the party’s policies is not a matter of public discussion, leaving the party this way is ‘not correct.’
Strong leaders leaving Congress like this is indicative of the fact that Congress needs to rethink its internal policies, especially the handling of Assam. After the electoral defeat, still, it’s not projecting a clear leadership which is going to be problematic.