GUWAHATI, Dec 29 - Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Debabrata Saikia is likely to lose the position of the Leader of the Opposition as the party�s strength in the Assam Assembly was reduced to only 20 MLAs, one less than the required number.
This came about after the resignation of Lakhipur MLA Rajdeep Goala from the Assembly today. Although Goala had been expelled from the Congress back in October, technically he continued to be recognized as a legislator of the party by the Assembly.
Congress had secured 26 seats in the 2016 Assembly polls.
Following the resignation of Baithalangso MLA Dr Mansing Rongpi from the Congress as well as from the Assembly�s membership later that year, the party�s strength came down to 25. Dr Rongpi later joined the BJP and was re-elected from Baithalangso constituency in a bye-election.
Congress� Abdul Khaleque of Jania resigned his membership of the Assembly after getting elected to the Lok Sabha in the 2019 general elections. Following this, the AIUDF was able to wrest the Jania seat from the Congress in the subsequent byepolls, thus bringing down the strength of the principal opposition party to 24 MLAs in the Assembly.
The demise of Pranab Gogoi (Sivasagar) and Tarun Gogoi (Titabor) left the Congress with 22 legislators.
Last week, Ajanta Neog (Golaghat) quit the Congress and resigned from the Assembly and now with Goala�s exit the party�s strength has dwindled to only 20 legislators.
On being contacted, Saikia said, �I am not exactly aware of the legal aspects. Besides, there are a lot of vacancies in the House now and so its effective strength is less. It is up the Speaker what decision he takes. I would not like to comment on the matter. Whether I continue in the post or not I will keep fighting against the present government�s policies.�
A senior official of the Assembly said that they are studying the rules regarding the matter and the Speaker is likely to take a final decision soon on the issue.