New Delhi, Sep 5 (IANS) Former Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who quit the Congress and joined the BJP last month, said on Saturday that he will soon resign from his state assembly seat.
“I will resign from my seat in the assembly in a day or two after returning to Assam,” Sarma told the media here after leading a group of 10 MLAs, including nine from the state’s ruling Congress, to meet Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah at his residence.
Sarma, who held the state’s health and education portfolios, quit his ministerial post in July last year after a major fallout with Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. Sarma was once seen as Gogoi’s blue-eyed boy.
Stating that the fall of the Gogoi-led Congress government was certain in next year’s assembly elections in the state, Sarma said: “We don’t want to defeat Gogoi by playing the game of numbers. Not MLAs but the people of Assam will bring about the downfall of the Gogoi government.”
He also referred to Gogoi’s remarks on Friday that it was difficult for the state government to alone fight the ongoing wave of devastating floods in Assam due to lack of funds.
“Since he is citing lack of funds as the reason for failing to fight the flood situation, then let there be a government that can have funds,” the former minister said.
Regarding Saturday’s meeting with Shah, Sarma said that since the BJP president expressed his desire to meet the 10 MLAs, he brought them along.
The 10 MLAs comprised Jayantamalla Barua, Pijush Hazarika, Pallablochan Das, Bolin Chetia, Kripanath Malla, Binanda Saikia, Pradan Barua, Rajen Borthakur, Abu Taher Bepari (all from the Congress), and Dwipen Pathak (from the Trinamool Congress).
Sarma also claimed that in the days to come, as many as 500 NSUI, Youth Congress and district-level Congress workers would soon join the BJP.
“They will be joining batch by batch. We have to take into consideration the sentiments of the long-serving BJP workers and ensure that they do not get hurt,” he said.
Sarma was elected in 2011 to the state assembly from the prestigious Jalukbari seat by a record margin of nearly 78,000 votes.
Speaking to the media after the meeting with Shah, Jayantamalla Barua said that he and the accompanying MLAs would be joining the BJP soon.
“We will soon join the BJP officially at a suitable time. We will ensure that the party’s Mission 84 (winning 84 of the state’s 126 assembly seats) is successful,” he said.