Lakhimpur, March 19, 2019
Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Ripun Bora on March 19th, 2019 stated that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership dropping Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s name from the list of probable candidates for the ensuing 2019 Lok Sabha candidates has proved the “real worth of the selfish Minister”.
The decision to drop Sarma’s name was taken at the highest level, considering that he is the BJP’s point person for the Northeast. He is free to campaign for the party across the Northeast without being restricted to any single constituency.
“Himanta was putting up a show that he runs the government. He made people believe that the Centre acts on his advice and Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal is his puppet. But after his name was dropped, it is clear that he is not the ultimate boss,” said Bora while speaking to TIME8.
“The mask came off from Himanta and Assam BJP. We are going to give them fierce fight,” he added. Assam BJP chief Ranjit Kumar Dass told reporters in Guwahati on March 18th, 2019 that as the convener of the North-East Democratic Alliance, Sarma will monitor the election campaigning of Assam and the Northeast in its entirety.
Assam’s 14 constituencies will see polling in three phases on April 11th, 18th and 23rd, 2019.
Bora also lashed out at the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP). “By joining hands with the BJP, the AGP has proved that it is power hungry and shameless party.”
Notably, two months after pulling out over the much-debated Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the AGP and BJP were back as allies in poll-bound Assam on March 12th, 2019.
Alliance with AIUDF
The Congress leader also dismissed reports of an alliance with All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF).
“The AGP-BJP are spreading rumours about an alliance between Congress and AIUDF. We have made it clear from the beginning that there will be no alliance between the Congress and AIUDF,” he said.