By: Arup Deka
In the 2014 General Election, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 7 seats in Assam and marginally lost seats in Kaliabor, Diphu, and Silchar. In the ensuing months, migrations started from parties like the Congress and the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and before long, many politicians from other parties had joined hands with the BJP.
Before the 2016 state legislative election, many Congress leaders had joined the BJP ranks in a bid to thwart the re-election of then Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
Commenting on these developments, Ram Prasad Sarmah, former Tezpur MP said: “I was strongly opposed to Himanta Biswa Sarma joining the BJP as he was leaving the Congress as his bad days had begun there. We won literally 7 seats out of 10 seats, so we did not wish for any migration in Assam BJP party. My motive was to focus on building the BJP brand in Assam, and focus on winning as many seats as possible so that we could assume power in the State.”
One year after the Congress was vanquished at the Centre, Himanta Biswa Sarma joined BJP with a huge band party rally. I was alarmed as I thought that Himanta could not be relied upon as he seemed like an opportunist to me”, Sarmah opines.
Sarmah also slammed the AGP party and called them ‘untrustworthy’. “I do not trust AGP party also. AGP is a party formed on the dead bodies of 855 Assam martyrs. Also, around 5,000 to 6,000 common people lost their jobs, 20,000 people went to the jail and so many CRPF Jawans are injured on that time.”
R P Sarma also said that the BJP is facing a severe crisis due to migrating leaders which is changing the complexion of the party.
Finally, he said that the voters will decide how long the BJP party will survive in Assam, and it will depend on Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, whether he can maintain the integrity of the party in the State or whether the party will be radically transformed due to the influx of leaders from rival political leaders.
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