For long a Congress citadel, Karbi Anglong has been turning saffron with a vengeance. The BJP has now wrested control of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC), which has for long been in its sights. This happened on June 23 last, when chief executive member Tuliram Ronghang along with 17 Congress members joined the BJP. And the first matter that Ronghang sought to clarify in his new political avatar was that the charges of massive corruption against him are all the handiwork of the Congress. In the assembly elections this time, the BJP wrested three of the four seats held by the Congress in Karbi Anglong district, mely Bokajan, Howraghat and Diphu, with only Baithalangso remaining with the Congress. Understandably, the BJP has been anxious to seize control of the council, but doing so with Congress imports is bound to create heartburn within the saffron party. The allegations of rampant diversion of development funds meant for the council should not be an issue to be sacrificed on the altar of realpolitik. In Dima Hasao too, the BJP has wrested the lone Haflong assembly seat from the Congress this time, following this up with seizing control of the executive committee of the NC Hills Autonomous Council (NCHAC). Earlier too, the BJP had taken control of the NCHAC with Congress imports, but that attempt was short-lived with several members switching sides right back. As for the KAAC, it had been administered by the Congress for as many as 52 years in the 64 years of its existence, while the ASDC ruled for 12 years. Now that the BJP is gaining ground in both Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao districts, it remains to be seen how it will get the two autonomous councils deliver on some real development on the ground. If political turncoat members are allowed to have their way as before, the BJP will end up in the same rut that the Congress now finds itself in.
Karbi Hills turn saffron