In a massive setback to the Assam Congress-led Grand Alliance, Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) candidate from Tamulpur constituency – Rangja Khungur Basumatary has reportedly quit the Hagrama Mohilary led party.
Rangja Khungur Basumatary is also likely to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Kokrajhar.
Rangja Khungur Basumatary was reported to be missing since Wednesday morning.
There was no whereabouts of the Tamulpur Assembly constituency’s BPF candidate since the morning of Wednesday.
Late Wednesday evening, Assam Minister and BJP strongman in the Northeast – Himanta Biswa Sarma had informed that Rangja Khungur Basumatary alias Ram Das Basumatary had met him and expressed desire to join the BJP.
Himanta Biswa Sarma further stated that Rangja Khungur Basumatary has also expressed desire to “retire from the election”.
“Official candidate of BPF and so called congress led alliance from Tamulpur LAC, Sri Ram Das Basumatary met me a short while ago. He has express his desire to join BJP and retire from the election,” Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted late on Wednesday night.
Official candidate of BPF and so called congress led alliance from Tamulpur LAC, Sri Ram Das Basumatary met me a short while ago. He has express his desire to Join @BJP4India and retire from the election.
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) March 31, 2021
It is also being speculated that 4-5 other BPF candidates might also switch sides.
Basumatary can’t officially take back his candidature from the Tamulpur seat since the time limit for withdrawal of nomination papers for the third phase is over, but due to his retirement from the contest, it is likely to make things very easy for the UPPL candidate.
Tamulpur Assembly constituency will go to polls in the third phase of the three-phased Asam Assembly election, on April 6, 2021.
Although, the BJP did not field any candidate from the Tamulpur constituency, its alliance partner – the Pramod Boro-led UPPL has fielded Lehu Ram Boro as its candidate from the seat.\
The Bharatiya Gana Parisad (BGP) has fielded Nirmala Das.
The other independent candidates, who have filed nomination papers, include Yaswanta Chouhan, Satyanath Kalita, Royen Narzary, Nilomani Rajbangshi, Dimbeswar Rabha, Nagen Chandra Das, Ramcharan Deka and Keshab Chandra Rajbangshi.
Meanwhile, second phase of Assam Assembly elections is underway in 39 constituencies across 13 districts of Assam.
The first phase of the Assam Assembly election 2021 was held on March 27.