GUWAHATI: After futile efforts by minister of state for health Pijush Hazarika to dissuade Hojai sitting MLA Shiladitya Dev not to contest as an independent candidate from Hojai, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma today took off for Hojai to make last ditch efforts to prevent an imminent BJP debacle in the Central Assam constituency.
A proiminent Hindutva activist, Dev was denied ticket by the BJP to contest from the RSS stronghold of the state that he represented for the last five years. The ticket denial led to Dev’s resignation from the saffron party and announced his candidature as an independent on Wednesday.
Sonowal and Sarma will also attend nomination filing by BJP candidate Ramkrishna Ghosh at Hojai this afternoon.
“I am going to Hojai. Will see what can be done about Shiladitya Dev after reaching there,” Sarma told newspersons before taking off from here.
Contacted by InsideNE, Dev said he would file his nomination. “I am in Hojai to file my nomination as an independent,” he said, adding that he would be camping on Hojai till the end of the elections. Hojai will go to polls on in the second phase of Assam elections on April 1.
Hazarika is understood to have offered Dev an “important position” after the government formation. Dev’s supporters, however, were not ready to swallow the bait and demanded rollback of the party decision to give ticket to another leader in the constituency.