Rebel Congress MLAs in dilemma

No guarantee of tickets by BJP, prospects of Congress tickets almost nil

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, Sept 7: The nine rebel Congress MLAs, who had met BJP president Amit Shah in New Delhi expressing their desire to join the party, are facing increasing resistance from a strong lobby within the State BJP unit.

gaon MP Rajen Gohain today for the first time gave vent to the resentment brewing within the party over the reported move to induct the rebel Congress legislators in the BJP.

"We are not being kept in the loop. We don't even know who are joining the party. We believe that the tiol leadership will not take any decision that is against the interests of State party workers," Gohain said.

Gohain, Union Minister Sarbanda Sonowal, Mangaldai MP Ramen Deka and Tezpur MP RP Sharma today went into a huddle with some senior party leaders, including former president Ranjit Das at the Circuit House here. The closed-door meeting lasted for over an hour. Sources said the MPs discussed the present scerio arising out of reports that the nine Congress rebel legislators may join the BJP soon.

A senior BJP member, who participated in the meeting, said "a dissident in another party cannot be a sincere worker in the BJP. He will create trouble wherever he is."

A section of the State BJP camp is also peeved at reports that the Congress legislators have been assured tickets by the BJP leadership.

"In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, people voted for us because they wanted an altertive to the Congress. If we embrace the discarded Congress members, we will no longer be a formidable altertive," rued another senior BJP leader.

Meanwhile, sources said that the BJP central leadership was non-committal on giving tickets to the nine rebel Congress legislators who are keen on joining the party. This had landed them in a piquant situation.

State Congress president Anjan Dutta even claimed that some of the rebel MLAs are now in touch with him and may not join the BJP. "They did not get an assurance for BJP tickets. Some of them are in touch with us. I do not feel they will quit the Congress," Dutta said.

Even if the legislators remain in the Congress, sources said, most of them are unlikely to get tickets in the upcoming assembly elections.

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