The Congress in Assam suffered a double blow today with the resignations of six-time MLA Gautam Roy and former Rajya Sabha MP Santiuse Kujur. Gautam Roy, who served in the cabinet of three-time former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, has simultaneously also been expelled from the party for "anti-party" activities in June. A veteran leader from the Barak Valley region, Mr Roy is expected to join the BJP on Sunday. Santiuse Kujur, in a letter to the party, said his resignation was a "personal decision".
The loss of Gautam Roy and Santiuse Kujur comes less than a week after another Assam leader - Bhubaneswar Kalita - resigned from the party. Mr Kalita, who quit his position as Chief Whip, left the party and joined the BJP, all in the space of four days, had criticised his party's stand on the centre's decision to scrap special status for Jammu and Kashmir.
The BJP swept to power for the first time in Assam in 2016, winning 60 of 126 seats. The Congress managed only 26.
Riding on the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the party's nationalist agenda, the party and its allies also won nine Lok Sabha seats in April-May elections, improving on its 2014 haul of seven. The Congress won only three seats - Nowgong, Kaliabor and Barpeta.
According to the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Roy distributed sweets after the BJP candidate won from Karimganj Lok Sabha seat.
The resignations of Mr Roy, Mr Kujur and Mr Kalita are likely to hit the party hard with state elections due in two years' time.
In worse news for the Congress, Jharkhand Congress chief Ajoy Kumar quit on Friday after accusing some of his colleagues of corrupt practices and promoting their own interests over the party's. He also "worst criminals look better" than them.
This new raft of resignations also comes as the Congress Working Committee, the troubled party's highest decision-making body, meets in Delhi to decide on a new president; a decision is expected to be announced at 9 pm.
Meanwhile, there are also rumours that two other Congress leaders - former minister Bharat Narah and current Rajya Sabha MP Ranee Narah - will also switch to the BJP.
If true, the news is likely to worry the party that only last month lost Karnataka to the BJP after 16 MLAs from the Congress-Janata Dal Secular alliance quit and two independents sided with the BJP.
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