‘The state leadership has identified those MLAs hobnobbing with the BJP, but is unable to act against them’.
NEW DELHI: The Congress in Assam is in a precarious position, threatened, on the one hand, by fears of its leaders leaving the party, and, on the other hand, the state leadership being unable to act even after having already identified some MLAs who are “hobnobbing with the BJP”. Moreover, there has been no disciplinary action against those who had voted against the party line in the recently held presidential election, leaving the party on slippery slope in the state.
Party leaders believe that some Congress leaders are covertly double-dealing with other parties and this is internally damaging the Congress and preventing it from presenting a united front. To the party’s dismay, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) General Secretary Kamrul Islam Choudhury resigned from the primary membership of the party this week and said, as quoted by a news agency, “It’s sad that no Congress leader from Delhi is coming to do a ground study. It’s difficult to work for people being in Congress. I request them to unite the state Congress first, then do Bharat Jodo.”
The grand old party had been victorious in over 29 seats in the 2021 Assembly elections. However, just after the elections, two MLAs left the party. Later, three more were suspended after they were believed to have voted for the BJP’s president candidate, Droupadi Murmu. Out of the remaining 24 MLAs, the party believes there are still more leaders who are involved in anti-party activities.
“Congress is still struggling to take any strict action against the MLAs,” a Congress functionary said. Party leaders believe that Congress has identified all faces against whom action should have been taken, but the party has not decided to punish them yet.
A Congress leader privy to the developments in the state said, “There needs to be proof of what we may accuse them of, although we know who they are, but it is difficult to establish proof. So now, the party has opted for a wait and watch approach and see how they react to party decisions, who they meet and for what they meet, what their behaviour is, how they are benefiting from the BJP ruled government in the state, everything is being analysed.”
Moreover, a senior leader also indicated that there are still more than six MLAs in the Congress who are acting on behalf of Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and BJP. Bhupen Kumar Borah, Congress president Assam unit, told The Sunday Guardian, “Yes definitely we are observing and analysing the activities of those who are in touch with other parties; ultimately, whoever is responsible will face consequences.”
The Congress has faced eight consecutive electoral defeats in Assam. Party leaders have continued to leave the Congress. Additionally, with Himanta Biswa Sarma leading the BJP in the state, it is believed that the party has too many of its leaders in touch with Sarma, who can trigger more defections any time.