Former president of Congress’s Assam unit Ripun Bora, who recently joined the Trinamool Congress and now occupies the same position in his new party, reached Guwahati on Monday morning. Bora, who was made state TMC chief on Saturday, was accorded a grand welcome outside the airport with supporters garlanding him.
The former Rajya Sabha member thanked all those who had gathered to greet him. “This is the first time I am coming to Guwahati after being appointed as the Assam TMC chief. I want to thank all the Assamese who have gathered here,” he said.
The Trinamool Congress had on Saturday evening issued a press release, stating, “We are pleased to share that our Honourable Chairperson Mamata Banerjee has appointed Shri Ripun Bora (Ex-MP, Rajya Sabha) as the State President of the Assam unit (sic).”
The party, which rules West Bengal, has been looking to expand its influence across the country with special emphasis on the Northeast in its attempt to become a national alternative to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the run-up to the 2024 parliamentary polls. Several key leaders of the Congress have switched to the TMC in the past few months in various parts of the country.
Bora quit the Congress and joined Trinamool a week ago in the presence of the party’s national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee.
“On April 27, we will have a ceremony at Rukmini Nagar where hundreds of workers from all across the state will join the Trinamool Congress. A number of politicians from other parties, who have shown the desire to join TMC, will also be inducted into the party,” Bora added.
At the function on Wednesday, Trinamool Congress MPs Sushmita Dev and Mahua Moitra, and Meghalaya leader of opposition Mukul Sangma are also expected to be present. Dev and Sangma are both former Congress leaders.
Claiming that Assam lacked a credible opposition as the Congress and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) were hand in glove with the ruling BJP, Bora said the Trinamool Congress is the most credible option to take on the saffron party in the state.
“Trinamool Congress is the only party that is capable of taking on the might of the BJP. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee single-handedly halted the BJP’s juggernaut in Bengal. We will do the same in Assam,” Bora added.