NEW DELHI: It was a clear show of strength. A power play by Himanta Biswa Sarma who formally joined the during his formal joining in the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) in what is being perceived in a clear signal to Congress Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi that he carries sufficient clout even today.

Thousands of supporters of Himanta Biswa Sarma gathered at Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International (LGBI) airport to receive and participate in a rally to welcome him into the BJP.

Speaking to The Citizen Sarma said, " Tarun Gogoi has not done anything so far for the state. There is discontent among one and all. April 2016 when the assembly will be reconstituted with a strong government. We would show the way to progress and constructive growth".

Ten Congress party legislators, Pallav Lochan Das, Piyush Hazarika, Jayanta Malla Boruah, Rajen Borthakur, Pradan Boruah, Abu Taher Bepari, Binanda Saikia, Kripanath Malla, Manshing Rongpi welcomed Himanta Biswa Sarma a the airport.

Police sources said that over 20,000 persons were at the airport. Congress workers disaffected with the current leadership, and looking to preserve their electoral clout, also participated in the rally indicating a major erosion that the ruling party in Assam has clearly been unable to check.

BJP leaders Mriganka Barma and Ashok Singhal also welcomed Himanta Biswa Sarma in the airport.

Meanwhile, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) launched a tirade against Himanta Biswa Sarma for joining the BJP. It sought to know when Sarma, whose name had surfaced in the Saradha scam, was given a clean chit by the CBI. Appealing to all 'secular and democratic' parties to join hands againstthe BJP, KMSS said in a statement that Assam was at a critical political juncture that was going to have wider ramifications for its social fabric. "The tone and tenor of BJP shows it wants to come to power at any cost. This raises many questions. All secular, democratic forces should join hands against elements trying to polarize voters along communal lines," KMSS stated. Reacting to the claims of KMSS, Sarma said, "I have been cleared by the CBI in April 2015. There will be oppositions however these obstacles will not deter me to bring in a strong government in power in the state. And the strong government in the centre and in the state will show the growth in the long run. Then these very people will come and support us". Assam is due for assembly elections in April next.The Congress fortunes are at a low ebb, losing its support base rapidly.