A day after former Congress minister Ajanta Neog met chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, a BJP leader said on Saturday that besides Neog there were several other Congress MLAs in Assam “waiting in the queue” to join the Saffron Party.
“I can confirm that Congress MLA from Golaghat Ajanta Neog will switch over to our party soon. In addition, some other Congress legislators are also in touch with us and have shown interest in joining our party,” a senior BJP leader said.
Former PWD minister Ajanta Neog on Thursday evening had a closed-door meeting with chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal at his official residence in Guwahati.
Speculation was rife since the last few months that Neog could jump ship and joins the BJP.
The BJP source said that Neog is expected to formally join the saffron party during the Assam visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah on December 26.
“In addition, Congress MLA from Sarupathar constituency Roselina Tirkey, Lakhipur MLA Rajdeep Goala (who was expelled from the Congress in October) and some other sitting legislators of the grand old party are also in touch with us. The final decision regarding their induction will be taken by our senior leadership,” the BJP leader said.
Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Ripun Bora said that Neog’s likely exit will not affect the party’s prospects.
“We had never expected this. If she (Ajanta Neog) had been with the Congress on the basis of principle and ideology, then she would not have acted this way. This shows that she was in Congress only for personal benefits,” Assam Tribune quoted Bora as saying.
He added that Congress made Ajanta Neog an MLA and gave her important portfolios to handle during the party’s time in power.