Leaders from Assam’s Bodoland People’s Front and the Congress joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday, ahead of the bye-elections in the state.
Among the BJP’s new members, Rajib Brahma and Prabhat Basumatary are from the Bodoland People’s Front, Sailen Kalita is a former Congress secretary, Hirak Das is student leader and Sekhar Jyoti Baishya is a cultural activist, PTI reported.
Two tea tribe leaders – Gautam Dhanowar and Pradip Majhi – also joined the BJP on Sunday. Gautam Dhanowar is the son of Congress leader Rameswar Dhanowar, who died in 2017. Pradip Majhi is the son of former Congress MLA Prithibi Majhi.
The seven leaders joined the BJP at the party’s head office in Guwahati. “[They] pledged to work together with us for the betterment of Assam,” Phanindranath Sharma, BJP’s general secretary (organisation) for Assam and Tripura, said in a tweet.
Bye-elections are scheduled to take place for five Assembly seats in Assam on October 30. These constituencies are Gossaigaon, Bhabanipur, Tamulpur, Mariani and Thowra. The votes will be counted on November 2.
The Tamulpur and Gossaigaon seats fell vacant after the MLAs occupying them died, the Hindustan Times reported. The MLAs from Thowra, Mariani and Bhabanipur had quit the the Congress and the All India United Democratic Front to join the BJP.