GUWAHATI, Dec 27 - A day after former BJP MLA from Patacharkuchi constituency Manoranjan Das, along with a few other leaders joined Congress, the grand old party today said that many other �old-timers� of the saffron party have expressed desire to cross over to its rank.
Leader of Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia told The Assam Tribune that many BJP leaders are dissatisfied with the present state of affairs within the saffron party as well as with the performance of the State government and have contacted the Congress.
�Many have expressed willingness (to join Congress). Our State party president will take a decision in this regard,� said Saikia, who is also leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP).
He added that most of the BJP leaders who have approached Congress are those who have been associated with the saffron party for many years.
Many such leaders, who laid the foundation of the BJP in Assam and led the outfit during its nascent stage, are reportedly now feeling �suffocated� since newcomers started joining the party since around 2014-15 after defecting from Congress, AGP and other organisations and are now dominating the State unit of the saffron party.
Congress sources said that many serving district presidents and secretaries of BJP units in upper Assam have approached the opposition party.
�Many such leaders sent initial feelers to former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who referred them to our State president Ripun Bora. While Das and a few others joined our party yesterday, we expect more BJP cadres in Barpeta district to cross over to us in the coming days. As for other mid-level BJP leaders, Bora will look into each individual case on the basis of merit,� said a senior office-bearer of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC).
He added that any final decision regarding the matter is expected only after the panchayat polls.
�We expect more BJP leaders to come over to our side as the 2019 General Elections approach closer. There is lot of dissatisfaction in the Assam BJP unit,� said the leader.