Assam Congress to approach court to disqualify five party MLAs

Guwahati, Jun 13 (IANS): At least five Congress MLAs in Assam have openly supported BJP or other party candidates in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. However, they did not leave the Congress to avoid anti-defection.

The state unit of the Congress party is keen to disqualify five legislators and the party will approach the court, said Bhupen Borah.

BJP has won the Karimganj Lok Sabha seat in the state, which is largely dominated by the Muslim population. Many believe that two Congress legislators--Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha and Sifdeque Ahmed, who extensively campaigned for BJP are the reason behind the ruling party's surprising performance in this constituency.

Purkayastha, a three-time MLA, was seen as a critic of the BJP-led government in the last few years. However, in February this year, he announced his support for the BJP government for development work, without resigning from the Congress party.

Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha could attract a section of Muslim votes in BJP's favour, according to poll watchers.

Ahmed is another Congress legislator who worked for BJP in these Lok Sabha polls. Once a minister in the Tarun Gogoi-led government, he was seen as a prominent Muslim face for the Congress party.

Both Purkayastha and Ahmed's roles cost Congress the Karimganj Lok Sabha seat this time--a constituency that was considered a favourable one for the Opposition.

Two other MLAs Shahilanta Das and Basanta Das also supported BJP candidates in their home constituencies while Sherman Ali Ahmed, who was suspended from Congress, worked on behalf of AIUDF.

The state unit of the Congress party has already appealed to the Speaker of the Assam Legislative Assembly to disqualify these five legislators.

Bhupen Borah, President of Assam Congress, told IANS: "We are looking for a decision to come from the Speaker of the Assembly. If he refuses to take any action against the five MLAs, we will approach the Court."



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Title: Assam Congress to approach court to disqualify five party MLAs

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