GUWAHATI: In a setback to the BJP ahead of the Assembly polls in Assam, the party on Thursday lost power in an autonomous tribal council.
The party’s Niranjan Hojai stepped down as Chief Executive Member (CEM) of the North Cachar Autonomous Council (NCAC) prior to a no-trust motion moved by the Congress members. His resignation paved the way for the Congress to return to power in the council.
After a series of defections over the past few months, the 30-member council now has 16 Congress members. Twelve are from the BJP while two are nominated by the Governor. The House will meet on Saturday to elect the new CEM.
The setback came a day after the BJP’s national president, Amit Shah, tore into the ruling Congress over corruption, the illegal Bangladeshi immigrants and rhino poaching.
The Congress ruled the council until the BJP wrested power from it last October by engineering defections of some ruling party members. “The development has brought an end to political unrest, at least for now, in the hill district,” NCAC chairman and Congress leader Ngamrothang Hmar said.
Last month, 10 Executive Members — all from the BJP - had “fled” to Kolkata fearing for their lives following the “Army-style” functioning of Hojai, who was the “Commander-in-Chief” of a now-disbanded militant outfit that had held the district ransom by unleashing a reign of terror.