GUWAHATI, April 26: Expansion of his ministry by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has stirred up the hornet’s nest in the State BJP leading a number of MLAs of the party to relinquish important party and government posts. Many MLAs of the party have let out their suppressed anguish.
Soon after the oath-taking of the new ministers at Raj Bhawan on Thursday, senior and aggrieved Dibrugarh MLA Prasanta Phukan has sent two resignation letters – one as the chairman of the policy-making body of the State BJP that was formed recently keeping an eye on the ensuing panchayat poll and as the chairman of the governing body of Assam Medical College and Hospital (AMCH), Dibrugarh. While the first letter has been addressed to State BJP president Ranjit Kumar Dass, the other letter has been addressed to the Secretary to the Health and Family Welfare, Assam.
Even as he has shown personal reasons for relinquishing the two posts, the actual reasons behind such a step have come to the fore during his interaction with the media. Interacting with the media later in the day, Phukan said: “I also wanted to be a minister, but failed to get any berth. Maybe, those who have got ministerial berths are more accountable to the party than me. Maybe, my candidature is less impressive than theirs. I congratulate those who have been chosen as ministers. I hope the State will make stride with their services. Had I been backed by a lobby, I would have been a minister. Policy and morality have nothing to do in politics these days. It’s the age of ‘might is right’. I’m not going to quit the BJP. I’ll continue to render my service as an MLA.”
Senior leader and Dispur MLA Atul Bora, who was on record being vocal for a berth in Sonowal ministry, said: “I’m going to make public the behind-the -screen tale of deceiving seniors to pave the way to the ministry for juniors. I’m not going to say anything today. Atul Bora isn’t one who keeps mum on such issues. I’ll make everything public one day.”
The only Muslim MLA of the BJP, Aminul Haque Lashkar from Sonai, said: “Muslims constitute 34 per cent of the State’s population. Since independence this is the first ministry at Dispur without any Muslim minister. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sab ka saath, sab ka vikash policy hasn’t been reflected in the composition of the ministry. I’ve already quit as a member of the State Haj Committee yesterday, but that has nothing to do with the expansion of the ministry. I’ve quit the post for an unknown person heading the committee as its chairman.”
Meanwhile, BJP’s Muslims supporters at Sonai are an aggrieved lot. They say that the BJP is not working for the wellbeing of Muslims.
Meanwhile, as many as ten ethnic bodies associated with Tiwa organizations have registered their protest against non-inclusion of Morigaon MLA Roma Kanta Deori as a minister. They say that by depriving Deori from a berth in the ministry the BJP has violated its agreement with the Tiwa Jatiya Aikya Mancha.
Meanwhile, State BJP president Ranjit Kumar Dass has said that there is no displeasure in the State committee of the party on the expansion of the ministry. He has said that the State BJP is going to the reorganized soon.