DIPHU, Nov 19: Two BJP leaders of Karbi Anglong joined the opposition Congress in Karbi Anglong.
Former MLA, Jagat Sing Engti and Pradip Diphusa of the BJP joined the Congress along with others in a ‘Mass Joining Programme’ held here at the Diphu Club in presence of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president, Bhupen Kumar Borah.
Both the leaders were denied a ticket by the BJP leadership in the last member of autonomous council (MAC) election to Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) in 2022.
Jagat Sing Engti said that the reason for him to join the Congress is the non implementation of an autonomous state.
Engti said, “The leaders of BJP came to Karbi Anglong and promised the implementation of an autonomous state. Rajnath Singh and LK Advani came and clearly promised that Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao will be granted autonomous status under Article 244 (A). As the leadership of BJP had promised the autonomous state, we joined the party.”
He further said, “Tuliram Ronghang, BJP’s chief executive member of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council has also won elections. All the seats were won by the BJP and formed the council. However, now the issue of autonomous state is secondary. Ronghang keeps saying that he wants an autonomous state, but when the BJP is in the state and the Centre, they can implement the MoS in a day and also the autonomous state.”
Accusing Ronghang of wholesale nepotism, he said as of prevailing situation the people of Karbi Anglong will suffer a lot more. “All contracts and bills are given to family link concerns including Kache Constructions. Petty contractors have nowhere to go, are not given their bills and left in the lurch,” he said.
Engti had started off as a student leader. He was active in Karbi Students Association’s central committee from 1985 – 1994. From 1994 he got involved in the movement for an autonomous state. He was elected as the MLA on an ASDC ticket from Bokajan for three consecutive terms from 1996. In 2011 he again contested as ASDC backed PAPA (People’s Alliance for Peace Initiative) candidate, but lost to Congress Klengdoon Ingti.
In 2012, Engti jumped to KAAC politics and contested in the KAAC election as ASDC backed PAPA candidate from Sarupathar MAC constituency. He won the election. Just six months before the expiry of the five year MAC term (2012-2016) together with four other PAPA backed elected MACs, Kangjang Terang, Darsing Ronghang, Horensing Bey and Semson Tisso, joined the BJP.
In 2017, he again contested the KAAC elections on a BJP ticket from the same Sarupathar MAC constituency and won the election. He served as an executive member (EM) and in-charge higher education (college level) in the CEM Tuliram Ronghang’s executive committee. However, in the 2022 KAAC election, he was denied a BJP ticket.
Pradip Diphusa, who was in the Congress earlier joined the BJP on June 23, 2016 led by the then chief executive member of KAAC, Tuliram Ronghang together with 18 other elected members. Diphusa was an executive member (EM) in KAAC then.
President of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee, Bhupen Kumar Borah said, “Along with heavy weight leaders like Jagat Sing Engti and Pradip Diphusa, 600 others have joined the Congress. It has brought enthusiasm in us. I.N.D.I.A block will do well. More will join the Congress in the days to come. I don’t want to reveal their names.”