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Major exodus of Cong leaders to BJP likely
PRANJAL BHUYAN
 GUWAHATI, Aug 6 - Pointing to what it termed as disarray and chaos within the Congress party, the BJP has expressed confidence that many senior leaders, including serving MPs and MLAs, belonging to the principal Opposition party will cross over and join the ruling party in Assam over the coming months.

Sources in the State BJP said that they expect a big influx of senior leaders as well as rank and file members of the Congress in the near future.

“Many senior Congress leaders in Assam, including some serving MPs and MLAs are likely to cross over to our party during the next few months,” a senior office-bearer in the State BJP told The Assam Tribune.

He added, “There is a leadership crisis in the Congress, both at the national level and in the State. The Congress party is now directionless. It has no future. In such circumstances, many leaders and rank and file members of the Congress are no longer sure about their future. People of India re-elected the NDA with a bigger majority in the recent Lok Sabha polls. In Assam also, the BJP did remarkably well in the parliamentary polls and there is no alternative to our party in the State. So, it is obvious that leaders of other parties are getting attracted to us.”

Asked if the BJP will be willing to accommodate defectors from other parties into its fold, the leader said, “We are willing to welcome them, provided that they are attracted to our ideology, plans and programmes and are willing to embrace the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

It is noteworthy that a number of defections, including of elected representatives, from Congress and other Opposition parties to the BJP have taken place across many States during the last few weeks.

In Goa, as many as 10 Congress MLAs left the party and joined the BJP last month, while in Karnataka the resignation by a number of legislators of the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) led to the collapse of the coalition government headed by the two parties in Bengaluru, followed by installation of a BJP regime.

In Maharashtra, some Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLAs crossed over to the BJP last month. In addition, many sitting Rajya Sabha MPs of various Opposition parties have defected to the BJP.

Congress MP from Assam Sanjay Sinh resigned from the party as well as the Rajya Sabha recently and joined the BJP.

Yesterday, another Congress member from Assam, Bhubaneswar Kalita, also resigned from the Rajya Sabha. There is speculation that Kalita may also join the BJP soon.

“The truth is that a majority of Congress members no longer have any faith in the leadership of that party. Look at the case of Bhubaneswar Kalita. He was extremely close to the Nehru-Gandhi family and yet he has now resigned as a Congress MP in the Rajya Sabha. I believe there will be many defections from the Congress in the coming weeks and months. Those who support the cause of nationalism and want to work for development of the country will join our party,” said a senior BJP leader.

He compared the Congress party to a ‘rudderless ship’.

“It is many weeks since Rahul Gandhi resigned as Congress president and they have yet to find a replacement for him. In Assam, the Congress has been decimated in three successive elections, including two Lok Sabha and one Assembly poll, and its organisation in the State is being torn apart by factional fighting. Which leader in his or her right mind will bet on such a party?” asked the BJP leader.

It is also worthwhile to note that just last week the BJP was able to gain control of the zila parishads in Hojai and Hailakandi districts after defections from the Congress and the AIUDF swelled its numbers in both the places.

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