GUWAHATI: Four-time former Assam Congress MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi formally joined the BJP on Monday.
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and others welcomed him to party fold at a function. Sarma said the 43-year-old Kurmi was ready to join the BJP in 2019 but that did not materialise.
“We welcome Sri Rupjyoti Kurmi to BJP family. A prominent leader from Tea - Tribe Community & 4-term MLA, he has always been working for uplift of poor & development of the region. @BJP4Assam shall immensely gain from his experience. Best wishes,” the CM tweeted.
After Kurmi had resigned from the Congress and the Assembly last week, Sarma had asked the MLAs of opposition parties to join the BJP, so all of them can work as a team for Assam’s development.
“What will they do for the next five years?” Sarma had asserted. The “undemocratic” remarks made the Congress demand a public apology from him.
Kurmi, who has not lost an election since 2006 when he contested for the first time from his Mariani constituency, ditched the Congress for not recognizing his contributions to the party. He was hurt that the Congress denied him the position of Leader of Opposition despite a commitment. He was livid that the
party also did not consider him for the post of state Congress president.
His family had been associated with the Congress since 1980s. He held the Mariani seat for four terms. His mother, Rupam Kurmi who represented the constituency for three terms on the trot, had died while serving as a Congress Minister during Tarun Gogoi’s first term as the CM.
Kurmi, a firebrand leader, had led the party’s attack on the BJP and Sarma, particularly on the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
After quitting the Congress, he was effusive of Sarma. He appreciated the CM’s drive against drug menace and efforts to rid temples and “satras” (Vaishnavite prayer centres) of encroachment and protect the “Gaumata”.