MRIDUL PRITOM DEKA
Guwahati, April 9, 2019
Even though Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal denies dissent between the party leaders who have been denied tickets in this Lok Sabha elections, all is not well in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Sitting MP from Tezpur Ram Prasad Sarmah on April 9th, 2019 took to Facebook and shared a collage of photographs of Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. The photograph depicts the “two faces” of Sarma as he switched from Congress to Bharatiya Janata Party. MP Sarmah further asked the voters to choose wisely.
It may be mentioned that Sarmah resigned from primary membership of the BJP over denial of ticket. He took to Facebook on March 16th, 2019 to announce his decision to quit the party after reports that the BJP may declare Sarma its candidate from Tezpur Lok Sabha seat. Sarmah, who belongs to the Gorkha community, was elected to the Lok Sabha the first time in 2014 from the Tezpur Parliamentary constituency.
However, BJP president Amit Shah in a series of tweets on March 21st, 2019 announced that Sarma will not be given a ticket to contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections and said that it was taken in the best interests of the party and the state of Assam.
It may be mentioned that Sarmah had earlier said that he will start a new political party involving all the old BJP leaders in Assam who are now ‘neglected’ in the saffron party. To prevent any dissension ahead of the polls, BJP national general secretary in-charge of the Northeast, Ram Madhav on March 24th, 2019 said that the dropped MPs from Assam will be given key posts in the party.
Tezpur goes to polls on April 11th, 2019 and Sarma’s loyalist and Assam Minister Pallab Lochan Das will contest for the seat. Das will lock horns with retired IAS officer and Congress leader MGVK Bhanu.