Congress leader Debabrata Saikia

Months ahead of assembly polls in Assam, main opposition Congress received a blow as assembly speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami on January 5 withdrew the recognition of its legislature party leader Debabrata Saikia as the leader of opposition.

Assam assembly officials said on January 5 that after the resignation of two Congress MLAs recently, the strength of the party in the house has come down to 20, one less than the required number in the 126-member assembly.

An assembly official said that the present strength of the Congress legislature party 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 as required under the law.

Numbers changed after death of Congress leaders

Former Assam PWD minister and MLA from Golaghat Ajanta Neog and party’s Lakhipur constituency legislator Rajdeep Gowala joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party last week.

With the exit of these two MLAs and the deaths of former chief minister Tarun Gogoi and former speaker Pranab Gogoi, both Congress legislators, the strength of the party in the assembly has reduced to 20.

The Assam assembly polls are likely to be held in April-May along with West Bengal and Kerala.

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