The strength of the ruling BJP-led alliance in Assam surged further with five newly-elected MLAs taking oath as legislators on Thursday. With the new addition, the alliance's strength has risen to 78 in the 126-member Assam Assembly. While the BJP has 62 MLAs, the Asom Gana Parishad has nine and seven belong to the United People's Party Liberal (UPPL). However, the BJP is still two members short of securing absolute majority of 64 in the House.
Three BJP MLAs- Phanidhar Talukdar, Rupjyoti Kurmi and Sushanta Borgohain- and two UPPL MLAs- Jiron Basumatary and Jolen Daimary- took the oath on Thursday. Assam Assembly Speaker Biswajit Daimary administered the oath. While the BJP members took the oath in Assamese, the UPPL MLAs took it in the Bodo language. All five were elected in the October 30 by-elections.
Turncoats Talukdar, Kurmi and Borgohain were elected from Bhabanipur, Mariani and Thowra Assembly seats, respectively. While Talukdar was earlier elected on an All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) ticket, Kurmi and Borgohain were elected as Congress candidates in the assembly elections held earlier this year in March-April. They later jumped ship to join the saffron party. UPPL's Basumatary and Daimary won from Gossaigaon and Tamulpur, respectively
With the new joinees taking oath today, the strength of the Congress has been reduced to 27 from 29. The AIUDF now has 15 members. The Bodoland Peoples Front has three members, the CPI-M has one and also local party Raijor Dal. One seat is vacant after former Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal got elected to the Rajya Sabha.