Rupjyoti Kurmi, a four-time Congress MLA from Assam, quit the party on Friday, PTI reported. He complained that the Congress had stopped listening to young leaders and blamed Rahul Gandhi for the party’s downfall, according to NDTV.
Soon after Kurmi’s announcement, the Congress expelled him for anti-party activities. He is set to join the Bharatiya Janata Party on June 21, according to PTI.
Kurmi criticised the Congress for ignoring his advice against a tie-up with the Badruddin Ajmal-led All India United Democratic Front for the Assam Assembly elections. The Bharatiya Janata Party had won the elections held in April-May with a comfortable majority.
“I requested the high command before the Assam polls that the alliance with AIUDF will be detrimental to the Congress in upper Assam, they did not listen to me but I was proved correct,” Kurmi was quoted as saying by NDTV. “I felt that the high command in Delhi and the high command in Assam did not listen to us.”
Kurmi claimed that the Congress did not want young leaders to grow. “It does not want to promote young leaders from backward classes like tea garden workers or tribals, so I decided that I will quit the Congress,” he told NDTV.
The MLA sharply criticised Gandhi’s leadership. “Rahul ji can’t do anything,” Kurmi said. “He is responsible for the downfall of the Congress. The result of the recent state elections is a clear sign that the Congress will keep suffering if it gives importance to Rahul Gandhi. It will keep losing its relevance.”
Kurmi’s exit came over a week after another prominent Congress leader, Jitin Prasada, joined the BJP.
Prasada, who was once considered a close aide to Rahul Gandhi, was part of a group of 23 dissenting leaders who had questioned the Congress’ functioning in a letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi last year.
After Prasada’s exit, veteran Congress leaders M Veerappa Moily and Kapil Sibal again pointed out that the party needed to revamp itself majorly.