New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Bhubaneswar Kalita on Friday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of Union Minister and BJP leader, Piyush Goyal. Kalita had resigned from the Rajya Sabha on Monday when Union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the bill to abrogate Article 370. Also Read - Mamata's Nephew Abhishek Banerjee Sends Legal Notice to BJP's Suvendu Adhikari
While he did not mention any reason for quitting the Upper House, Kalita told mediapersons in New Delhi that he was very much a part of the Congress and will divulge details regarding his resignation later. Also Read - BJP Demands Deployment of Central Forces in West Bengal Ahead of Crucial Assembly Polls
A Congress leader was quoted by a daily as saying that Kalita was unhappy with affairs of the party, especially its stand on Article 370. Even within Congress in Assam, Kalita was virtually sidelined.” Also Read - Rajasthan Congress MLA Gajendra Singh Shaktawat Dies at 48
A couple of days ago, ex-Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi had said, “I believe he (Kalita) is joining the BJP. If he remains in Congress, I will personally apologise to him.” In a purported letter, Kalita had remarked that he could no further stay in the Congress party which had voiced out its stand against the revocation of Article 370 as a “clear path of self-destruction”.
This former Rajya Sabha member from Assam, Kalita, was due to retirement on April 9, 2020. He is the second Congress MP from Rajya Sabha to resign following Sanjay Singh’s resignation. Sanjay Singh was a member of the erstwhile Amethi royal family who had quit to join the BJP.
Born on April 1, 1951, Kalita pursued Masters in Arts in 1974 and LLB in 1978 from Gauhati University. During the Congress rule in Assam, Kalita had held numerous positions and significant portfolios including energy and public enterprises.