GUWAHATI, Aug 3 - Three-time MLA from Mariani Assembly constituency Rupjyoti Kurmi was today appointed chairman of the Tea and Ex-Tea Mazdoor Congress department of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC).
APCC president Ripun Bora made the appointment, which comes into effect immediately.
Kurmi has been directed to constitute the State-level committee of the Tea and Ex-Tea Mazdoor Congress department. He replaces former minister Atuwa Munda.
�Munda has been relieved of the post because he is also serving as president of the Dibrugarh District Committee of the Congress party. Kurmi has been put in charge of the Tea and Ex-Tea Mazdoor Congress department because the party leadership wanted to pass the mantle to somebody who is young while also being tried and tested,� a senior APCC office-bearer told this newspaper.
He added, �Kurmi has won from Mariani constituency for three consecutive terms. So he has a mass base. Besides, the tea community used to be a major support base of our party in Assam all these decades, but in recent times the BJP has managed to make some inroads into the community. With the appointment of Kurmi, we now hope to arrest the trend and regain our stranglehold among the tea community.�
The tea community is a major player in many constituencies across Assam, especially in upper Assam.
�A young leadership was the need of the time. And Kurmi�s appointment as president of Tea and Ex-Tea Mazdoor Congress signals our party�s willingness to take the struggle to the next level to regain our old base. This also marks a generational change as leaders like Paban Singh Ghatowar and Munda have now made way for youngsters like Kurmi,� said the APCC office-bearer.