Kurmi, a prominent Assam Cong MLA, has resigned from the party. The Congress suffered a setback in Assam on Friday when prominent MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi announced her intention to join the ruling BJP on Monday.
Congress promptly expelled the four-term MLA for “anti-party activities.”
Criticizing the party, Kurmi, a tea community leader, said that the Congress had ceased to listen to younger leaders. And predicted the party’s future demise if Rahul Gandhi continued to run things.
“Rahul Ji cannot bring about change because he is directly responsible for the Congress’s demise. The results of the recent state elections demonstrate unequivocally that Congress will continue to suffer if it places a premium on Rahul Gandhi. The party will continue to lose relevance,” he told the media.
Kurmi informed both Assam Assembly Speaker Biswajit Daimary and interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi of his resignation.
The senior tribal leader resigned days after former Union minister Jitin Prasada. A major face of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh, defected to the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Kurmi’s expulsion from the party was described as “unfortunate” by Assam Pradesh Congress Committee President and Rajya Sabha member Ripun Bora.
Congress parliamentary party leader Debabrata Saikia said that Kurmi was a devoted party worker who had some reservations about the party’s choices.
However, Kurmi’s decision to leave the party in this manner was incorrect, Saikia added.
Kurmi, 43, is the son of Rupam Kurmi, a former Congress minister. Since 2006, he has been elected four times from the Mariani constituency in eastern Assam.
The Congress, which ruled Assam for 15 years (2001 to 2016), came second in the March-April Assembly elections, winning 29 seats. Three more than in 2016 when the party lost the state to the BJP.
Apart from state Congress chief Bora, several other Congress leaders were defeated in the recent 126-member state Assembly elections.