'We were just eight in 2001', Assam BJP leader's stroll down the memory lane

Guwahati, June 18 (IANS): Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ranjit Dutta, who emerged victorious in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls from Assam's Sonitpur Parliamentary constituency, resigned from his position as Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) on Tuesday while recalling his journey and initial days in the Assembly as a legislator.

Dutta was an MLA from the Behali Assembly segment in Biswanath district.

Tendering his resignation to the Speaker of the Assembly, Dutta recounted old days when he was an MLA and the BJP was in the opposition in Assam.

"I won from Behali in the 2001 Assembly polls. At that time, Congress came to power in the state... and we sat in the opposition. There were only eight MLAs of the BJP then and I was made the deputy leader of the party in the Assembly," he said.

Dutta asserted that often there were strong debates between the opposition and treasury benches on a range of issues concerning the development of people. However, dignity was always maintained.

In the 2006 Assembly polls, the BJP's performance was slightly better and the party had 10 MLAs in the Assembly.

When the BJP came to power in Assam for the first time in 2016, Ranjit Dutta was made a minister in the Sarbananda Sonowal-led Cabinet in the state. However, he was not given a position in the council of ministers when the party retained power in 2021.

In the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls, Pallab Lochan Das -- who was the sitting Sonitpur MP -- did not contest the polls and the BJP fielded Dutta from that seat.

"I have passed several years of my political career as an MLA. I sat for a while in the Assembly today for the last time before handing over my resignation," Ranjit Dutta said.

Notably, another senior BJP leader in the state, Parimal Suklabaidya was also given a ticket in the Lok Sabha elections, and he won the Silchar Parliamentary constituency.

Suklabaidya was also a minister in the Assam Cabinet, and he resigned after winning the Lok Sabha polls.


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Title: 'We were just eight in 2001', Assam BJP leader's stroll down the memory lane

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