Opposition AIUDF MLA Phanidhar Talukdar on Tuesday resigned from the party to join the ruling BJP in Assam next week.

Talukdar is the third legislator after Rupjyoti Kurmi and Sushanta Borgohain resigned from their party to join hands with the saffron party.

Talukdar is a first-time MLA from the AIUDF, who won the last Assembly election from the Bhabanipur constituency.

As an AIUDF candidate, he got 55,975 votes against ruling ally Asom Gana Parishad nominee Ranjit Deka”s tally of 52,748 votes, becoming the only Hindu MLA from the party that predominantly has a Muslim base.

After Talukdar’s resignation, the AIUDF’s strength in the 126-member House will come down to 15.

At present, the BJP has 60 MLAs, but effectively the number is 59, as Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal is yet to resign from the assembly.

The ruling alliance partners, the AGP has nine and UPPL five MLAs, while the Congress’ strength is 27.

Byelections will now take place in six seats – one MLA each of the United People”s Party Liberal (UPPL) and Bodoland People”s Front (BPF) have died, while two Congress legislators have resigned to join the BJP

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