AIUDF MLA Phanidhar Talukdar to resign, join BJP

AIUDF MLA Phanidhar Talukdar to resign, join BJP

Talukdar is a first-time MLA from the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF)

Credit: AFP Photo

Opposition AIUDF MLA Phanidhar Talukdar on Sunday said he will resign from the party and the assembly to join the ruling BJP next week.

Talukdar is set to become the third legislator after Congress' Rupjyoti Kurmi and Sushanta Borgohain to put in his papers and be a part of the saffron brigade.

"I have decided to resign from my party. I will join the BJP on September 1," he told reporters without elaborating.

Talukdar is a first-time MLA from the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF). He represents the Bhabanipur constituency, and has unsuccessfully contested from the seat several times in earlier assembly polls.

As an AIUDF candidate, he got 55,975 votes against ruling ally Asom Gana Parishad nominee Ranjit Deka's tally of 52,748 votes, becoming the only Hindu MLA from the party that predominantly has a Muslim base.

After Talukdar’s resignation, the AIUDF's strength in the 126-member House will come down to 15.

At present, the BJP has 60 MLAs, but effectively the number is 59, as Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal is yet to resign from the assembly.

The ruling alliance partners, the AGP has nine and UPPL five MLAs, while the Congress' strength is 27.

Byelections will now take place in six seats - one MLA each of the United People's Party Liberal (UPPL) and Bodoland People's Front (BPF) have died, while two Congress legislators have resigned to join the BJP.

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