Assam: Congress working president Rana Goswami resigns; likely to join BJP

GUWAHATI: Senior Congress leader Rana Goswami, working president of the state Congress in Assam, resigned from the party on Wednesday and traveled to New Delhi, where he is expected to join the BJP. Goswami was a former MLA of Jorhat.
Soon after sending the resignation letter to Congress general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal, he went to New Delhi where he is likely to meet BJP president JP Nadda and join the party. Asked about the speculations of Goswami switching sides, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday said he had no information about it, but “he is a powerful leader of the Congress and if he joins the BJP, I will welcome it”.
Sources said Mr Goswami is now in New Delhi where he is likely to meet BJP President JP Nadda and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. The party’s core group from Assam and the national leadership are meeting in the capital to decide on candidates for the Lok Sabha elections from the state and to take a call on how many seats should be left for its allies.
Mr Goswami was at the forefront of making preparations for Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Assam and had been questioned by the police a few days ago after a case was filed over deviating from the route for the march. On Sunday, however, the former MLA had quit as the organisational in-charge in Upper Assam citing “various political reasons”.
Mr Goswami’s exit will add to the Congress’s troubles ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The party faced a shock defeat in the Rajya Sabha poll on Tuesday and is now grappling with the possibility of its government being toppled in Himachal Pradesh, the only state in north India where it is in power.
Earlier this month, another Congress working president, Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha, had resigned and extended his support to the BJP government in the state. He was joined by fellow Congress MLA Basanta Das. Excluding them, the Congress now has only 23 MLAs in the 126-member Assembly. Assam sends 14 MPs to the Lok Sabha and the BJP had won nine seats in 2019.
On Mr Purkayastha’s was harassed by the vigilance department during the Durga Puja festival last year. “He was under severe pressure and was compelled to go to the BJP. Kamalakhya resigned as he could not withstand the assault of the Enforcement Directorate and other agencies in bogus cases.”

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