BJP leader Rupjyoti Kurmi, who recently quit Congress and joined the saffron party, has a cent percent chance of getting a ticket from upper Assam’s Mariani constituency for the bye-election for the Assam legislative assembly.
A party source said there is very little chance of replacing Kurmi in Mariani as he already has a base in the constituency. Rupjyoti Kurmi has won four times from Mariani on Congress ticket.
However, the source said, party top brass will take the final call after minutely scrutinizing every aspect when it comes to giving a ticket.
Kurmi was the lone Tea Tribe community MLA in Congress. After shifting to saffron camp, Congress has no tea tribe community MLA now.
Meanwhile, Kurmi’s shifting to BJP is being considered as the ruling party’s massive success as it has built a strong base in the tea belt in its first term in the government. BJP had begun its grass-root works in the tea garden areas prior to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and consolidated it in the 2016 assembly elections.
In the recently concluded assembly elections, the BJP gave a spectacular performance in the tea belt due to its inclusive development efforts to uplift the tea community.
The party, which got 22 seats in the 2016 assembly elections, won 27 out of 37 seats in the tea belt of the state while its key ally Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), which had won four in the 2016 assembly elections, won five seats this time. The count will go up to 28 if Kurmi gets a ticket and wins in the bye-polls.
Nearly eight lakh workers of the 850 tea gardens of the state, which is spread over Jorhat, Golaghat, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Biswanath and Sonitpur district, extended wide support to the BJP.
It may be mentioned that before the elections, senior Congress leader and former minister Ajanta Neog quit the party and joined the BJP. She contested and won the elections on BJP ticket from the Golaghat constituency.
Apart from Mariani, Gossaigaon and Tamulpur are also lying vacant as the MLAs of the constituencies died due to Covid-19 recently.
The source said that the BJP is not likely to contest in Gossaigaon and Tamulpur constituency in the bye polls. “United People’s Party Liberal, BJP’s key ally, fought the elections in both the constituencies. So, they are likely to fight the bye-polls in the aforesaid constituencies,” the source added.