Tuliram Ronghang joins BJP in Diphu.

Sushanta Roy is a journalist in the north eastern states of Assam and Meghalaya, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora, and the things that affect them.

Diphu June 23: As predicted yesterday the Congress-led Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council headed by Tuliram Ronghang switched horses and formally joined the BJP. With him were 18 Executive Committee members, tearing apart the Karbi Anglong District Congress.

This merger has virtually transformed the KAAC into saffron from today.

Joy Ram Engleng, BJP MLA of Howraghat constituency and senior-most BJP leader of the district, Sum Ronghang MLA of Diphu, Numal Momin MLA of Bokajan, Lanki Phangcho district president of BJP, Ajay Gupta party observer and other senior leaders were present. Thousands of BJP workers thundered slogans at the joining-in ceremony held at the Diphu BJP office.

Tuliram Ronghang didn’t spell out anything in advance about his joining, while all preparation was made for the paradigm shift. June 23, which is Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council’s foundation day was chosen for the occasion. The final go-ahead was given by the new Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal last Monday night, after holding a meeting with senior party leaders and bureaucrats.

Along with Tuliram Ronghang, the other KAAC Executive Committee members who joined BJP are Bidya Rongpi, Mongolsing Timung, Pradip Difusa, Jiban Pathak, Aton Sangma, Mohesh Chuhan, Chandra Tamang, Golap Surin, Dhonsing Kro, D. Uphing Maslai, Pradip Rongpi, Pradip Signar, Kachey Timungpi, Longki Timung, Surya Rongphar, Rupsing Teron and Bidyasing Tokbi

During the ceremony, senior BJP leaders announced that 6 MAC (Member of Autonomous Council) members of the regional party HSDC are also preparing to join the BJP. No sign was given by any BJP leaders about any change in the KAAC and it can be assumed that Tuliram Ronghang will remain as CEM until the KAAC electioneering process ends in January 2017.

It is thought that there is a likelihood of inducting MAC Sarat Bramha the Bodo ally of BJP and Roton Engti the lone BJP MAC soon.

The fusion of Congress leaders with BJP is viewed as a strategic move by the BJP in the electoral politics of this autonomous hill district. The threat of probable amalgamation of Congress and regional party HSDC in the forthcoming KAAC election could have triggered this move by the ruling party. That possibility has been cleverly avoided through this merger.

It is thought that some MAC segments where Congress is still holding ground will be annexed with ease by the BJP. Analysts say the issue of rescheduling the Bodo community in the hills of Assam was resisted by district Congress and HSDP, and the amalgamation of these new members and the BJP will lead to the change the Bodo community was looking for.

Tuliram Ronghang joins the BJP in Diphu.
Tuliram Ronghang joins the BJP in Diphu.