Silchar: Ahead of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's visit to Silchar on Friday, 283 BJP members, including some of its leaders from Dima Hasao district, joined Congress on Thursday. Those who joined Congress include BJP's former Dima Hasao district committee president Hamjanan Langthasa, former executive member of North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council (NCHAC) Subrata Hojai, former media in-charge of the saffron party Binanda Langthasa and senior BJP leader Gopinath Gorlosa.
The BJP leaders joined Congress during a function organized at Rajib Bhavan in Haflong, the office of the district Congress committee, during the day which was presided over by the party's district president Mahendra Kamprai.
The development is being considered a major debacle for the saffron party in the hill district and a boost for Congress.

Addressing the meeting, the BJP members alleged that they were being neglected in the party under the present leadership. "Dedicated workers have no place in BJP. We have experienced this over the years. BJP has no future in Assam, as well as in Dima Hasao," said Hamjanan Langthasa. He added that he was illegally removed from the post of BJP's district president by former state committee president Siddarth Bhattacharjee.

Some of the former BJP members indicated that they were unhappy with the presence of so many former militants in the saffron party in the hill district. Senior Congress leader and NCHAC chief executive member Debojit Thaosen also addressed the gathering.

AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi will visit Silchar on Friday to launch the party's election campaign in the Barak Valley area and Dima Hasao district.

During the day, he will unveil a statue of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at Indira Bhavan, following which he will meet intellectuals of the valley. Around 1.30 pm, Rahul will address a rally at the District Sports Association ground. Besides other senior party leaders, chief minister Tarun Gogoi will attend the functions.