Guwahati, March 20, 2019:
It is now clear that the controversy over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will cost Assam’s Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma his dream of being elected to the Lok Sabha. As per a statement of Assam BJP Chief Ranjeet Dass, it is because the senior BJP leadership expects Biswa Sarma to revive the Northeast Democratic Alliance (NEDA), which currently lies in shambles. “BJP President Amit Shah requested Himanta Biswa Sarma that instead of focusing on a single seat, he should focus on the elections in all the states of the Northeast and focus on all seats in the region since he is the convener of the NEDA”, Dass has been quoted as saying.
Alarmingly for the BJP and Biswa Sarma, almost all of the NEDA constituents are going to contest the upcoming elections alone. In Meghalaya, Conrad Sangma’s NPP and Donkupar Roy’s UDP will contest the elections on behalf of the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance, while the BJP has been abandoned by its allies in the region. In fact, the UDP no longer considers itself a part of the NEDA.
In Tripura too, bickering over the Tripura East (ST) led to the indigenous party announcing candidates from both Lok Sabha Constituencies. Meanwhile, the SDF in Sikkim and the MNF in Mizoram too have shown signs that they do not want to be associated with the BJP after the saffron party’s insistence to pass the unpopular Bill in the Northeast.
Arunachal BJP too is in turbulent waters as it has been weakened when 2 Ministers and 12 MLAs have joined the ranks of the rapidly growing NPP party after they were denied tickets to contest the elections.
In the midst of the ruins of NEDA, the AGP party is perhaps the only party still standing with the BJP which will apparently cost them dearly as polls have shown that the party will not win a single seat in the ensuing elections.
Thus, it comes as no surprise that Himanta Biswa Sarma is not being spared to pursue his own dreams by the BJP and is instead being put to the task of steadying the apparently sinking NEDA ship in the Northeast.