Congress MLA loses status of leader of opposition in Assam assembly
Leader of the Congress legislature party in Assam assembly Debabrata Saikia has lost his position as leader of opposition (LoP) after two MLAs of his party quit and joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
According to a notification on January 1 issued by AN Deka, secretary, Assam legislative assembly, Saikia, who represents the Nazira constituency, would lose the salary and other perks associated with the position.
With two MLAs - Ajanta Neog and Rajdeep Goala - quitting the party, Congress’s strength in the 126-member assembly had been reduced to 20 members.
“The present strength of the Indian National Congress legislature party in Assam legislative assembly is not equal to the quorum fixed to constitute a sitting of the House, that is one-sixth of the total number of members of the House,” said the notification.
“Therefore, the honourable Speaker, Assam legislative assembly has been pleased to withdraw the recognition of Debabrata Saikia, MLA, as Leader of the Opposition, Assam legislative assembly with effect from January 1, 2021,” it added.
The Congress had won 26 seats in the 2016 assembly polls. The same year, its MLA from Baithalangso Mansing Rongpi resigned and later won as a BJP candidate from the same seat.
The party’s MLA from Jania, Abdul Khaleque won from the Barpeta Lok Sabha seat in 2019. The seat was later bagged by All India United Democratic Front in the bye-election.
The Congress’s strength came down further last year with the deaths of two MLAs, Pranab Gogoi of Sivasagar and former chief minister Tarun Gogoi, who represented Titabar seat.
Last month Neog and Goala, who represented the Golaghat and Lakhipur seats respectively, quit the party and joined BJP, bringing Congress strength down to 20 members - one less than the 21 members needed to have one-sixth of the total members of the assembly.