Assam: Two expelled Congress MLAs, former BPF lawmaker join BJP

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Guwahati, Dec 29 (PTI) Former Assam minister and expelled Congress leader Ajanta Neog along with two ex- legislators in the state joined the BJP on Tuesday.

Besides Neog, another expelled Congress MLA Rajdeep Goala and former Bodoland Peoples' Front (BPF) lawmaker Banendra Mushahary switched over to the BJP in the presence of North East Democratic Alliance convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma and the saffron party's state unit president Ranjeet Dass.

Neog said she joined the BJP with an 'open-mind and no pre-condition' and promised to work with sincerity to realise the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the party's state leadership.

Neog, who was a close confidante of former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and part of his cabinet, said she had entered into politics after her husband was killed by militants and served the people of the state and the Congress.

'Unfortunately, the party (Congress) which I served for so many years have distanced itself from the people and I was disheartened when I did not get the due respect,' she said.

Neog, who was elected from Golaghat constituency for four times, said she requested the BJP leaders to ensure that she gets the due respect in the party.

'It is a challenge to leave a home and enter another.

The feeling is the same as that of a woman entering her in- laws' house,' Neog said, adding that she decided to join the BJP for its 'futuristic vision' which, according to her, is necessary for a party.

Sarma said the joining of the three prominent politicians of the state will boost the morale of the BJP and help meet its target of securing more than 100 seats in the 2021 assembly elections.

Assam BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass said Union Home Minister Amit Shah had advised the party's state unit to set up a screening committee to decide on the entry of members.

The panel has approved the induction of the three, he said.

Neog had met Shah during his recent visit to the state after she was expelled from the Congress.

She had also resigned as a member of the Assam Assembly.

Goala, who was elected from Lakhipur constituency in Cachar district, was also expelled from the Congress in October for 'anti-party activities'.

Mushahary had lost from Gauripur assembly segment in Dhubri district in the last elections. PTI DG BDC BDC