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Will BJP own Himanta as a tough cookie?

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  28 Feb 2015 12:00 AM GMT

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, February 27: There are reports that the BJP in Assam has its eyes set on Dispur in 2016, albeit riding on Himanta brigade’s coattails. Many in the state rate Congress MLA Himanta Biswa Sarma as a tough cookie.

There are reports that former minister and Congress MLA Himanta Biswa Sarma and his loyalists – Joi MLA Pradhan Baruah, Roha MLA Piyush Hazarika, lbari MLA Jayanta Malla Baruah, Sadia MLA Bolin Chetia, Behali MLA Pallab Lochan Das, Chabua MLA Raju Sahu and others – have lined up to join the BJP.

I cannot be ascertained now if this is a welcoming development for the state BJP. The party in the State has, however, has a mixed feeling about the development. The situation in the party can be gauged well from the very fact that three of the seven party MPs want to give a red carpet reception to Himanta and his men into the party fold, while the other four are against the joining of the one-time Congress heavyweight to the BJP.

This cannot be a mere allegation. They say where there is smoke, there is fire. The issue of Himanta Biswa Sarma and team joining the BJP is under discussion at the top-level of the party in New Delhi. Sources say that if everything goes well, Himanta and team may join the BJP in March-end. The party’s tiol observer for Assam, Dr. Mahendra Singh, however, said at Guwahati today that he had no information with him right now on the issue.

A section of BJP workers and leaders in the State, on the other hand, is apprehensive of losing almost assured party tickets. The party may even have a collision course in some localities where it has its own stalwarts. In LACs like Joi, Roha, lbari, Sadia, Behali, Chabua etc., the BJP has its leaders who have been associated with the party from the grassroots level, and in all testing times. According to party sources, obviously such dedicated party workers will like to fight elections this time with the party seems to be on a better position after the successive win in the Lok Sabha and civic body elections in the state. However, the sources said, if Himanta and company join the party a number of such dedicated leaders may not get party tickets. This, according to sources, may even lead to rebellion in the party.

State party president Siddhartha Bhattacharyya is conspicuous by his silence on the issue. He is yet to make any comment on the issue barring making a statement a few days back that prominent leaders of a number of parties might join the BJP in Assam soon. This statement has left many BJP leaders and workers speculating.

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