Last ASDC stalwart Warissa joins Cong

Nagaon, May 7: Senior Autonomous State Demand Committee leader and former Rajya Sabha member Prakanta Warissa joined the rival Congress, along with hundreds of his supporters, at a meeting at Haflong cultural hall today, eroding the three-decade long stronghold of the committee in Dima Hasao district of Assam.
A high-level team of Congress leaders reached the hill district headquarters yesterday to participate in the special district committee session, where Warissa formally joined the party.
“All party related matters were resolved here before. Today’s joining is just a formality,” said a senior district Congress committee leader.
Party district unit chief and local autonomous council chief Samarjeet Haflongbar greeted Warissa, who reached Haflong cultural hall along with 400 supporters.
Haflongbar presided over the meeting where state-level party representatives Y.L. Karna and J.H. Rana Khan were present as special guests.
Warissa was the last elected ASDC leader to join the Congress. Fifteen others and eight BJP members of autonomous councils joined the Congress last year. “My 15-year political career taught me that the struggle for this hill district as a representative from a small regional party is impossible. I joined the Congress for the greater interest of peace and overall development of the hill district,” Warissa told The Telegraph.
Warissa, originally from the Dimasa Students Union (DSU), joined the ASDC in 1995. He was serving as the chief executive member of then NC Hills Autonomous Council and Rajya Sabha member from 1996 to 2001.
Warissa contested as the ASDC candidate from Haflong constituency in the 2006 Assembly election. In 2007, he was selected the district unit president of the party.
“Now we are stronger than before. We hope our newly enrolled members might work more to bring the party nearer to the Dima Hasao public,” Haflongbar said in his address.
“In the 2007 district council election, we had just two elected members. This came down to one after senior party leader V. Sangson died. Hamjanon Langthasa from the BJP was the first elected member (East Maibong) to join the Congress. That was followed by former chief executive member Debulal Hojai and 20 others. There is just Kulendra Daulogupu from the BJP as the only Opposition member,” said a Congress source after the meeting.
The ASDC today claimed that Warissa’s departure could do no harm to the party.
“He left our party long ago and was trying to go to the ruling Congress. We are replacing him,” said ASDC chief Somang Kro.