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Dissident Cong MLAs join BJP

After days of will-they-won't-they, four suspended Congress MLAs along with five of their colleagues have joined BJP on Friday fuelling the speculations of a vertical split in the opposition party 6 months ahead of the assembly polls.

Sitting Congress MLAs Pradan Baruah, Jayanta Malla Baruah, Piyush Hazarika and Pallab Lochan Das. Others Abu Taher Bepari, Balin Chetia, Rajen Barthakur, Binanda Saikia and Kripanath Mallah have joined BJP at a function presided over by state unit president Siddarth Bhattacharya at the party headquarter in the afternoon. Party's central leaders Ram Madhab along with many senior leaders attended the ceremony where Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal was conspicuous by his absence.

Many senior BJP leaders have not taken Sonowal's absence easily.

"We are not easily accepting the absence of Sonowal from the ceremony. He was dead opposed to their joining with promise for ticket to contest the polls," said a senior party leaders.

APCC president Anjan Dutta said the party has finally got rid of these, disturbing the party for the last three years. They joined the party a day after they met Sonowal who in principle, allowed them to proceed.

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Assam Times Staff.

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