Assam polls: Himanta Biswa Sarma predicts 700-1500 votes for new regional parties

BJP's touble shooter in the Northeast, Himanta Biswa Sarma, predicted that the new regional parties will not be a factor
Assam polls: Himanta Biswa Sarma predicts 700-1500 votes for new regional parties

Guwahati: Assam's finance, education, and health minister Himanta Biswa on Monday, playing down the chances of the newly-formed political parties in the state, said that they will not be a major factor in the Assam Assembly polls to be held in 2021.

Dismissing their chances in the polls, which will see the BJP try to retain its stronghold in Assam, Sarma prognosticated that these parties will win around 700-1,500 votes in the constituencies where they will contest. "If my words do come true, kindly do not say that I have performed magic," he told reporters on the sidelines of a program held in Guwahati.

Weighing in on the regional organizations' parties, Biswa Sarma said that in the lead up to the elections, the mushrooming of such parties, leaders, and social workers is commonplace.

He further went on to question these regional parties' stand against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. "Have you peeked into their minds to be absolutely certain that they truly stand against the CAA?" Sarma queried.

Taking a direct jibe at the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), one of the regional bodies that has turned political ahead of the polls, Sarma asked, "Where are the krishaks (farmers) in the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti?"

In another jibe at the regional organizations that have offered a 'political alternative' to the saffron party, the Minister then said that the "collection of donations" in the name of forming political parties should be stopped altogether.

Sarma's comments come against the backdrop of regional bodies -- most prominently the student organizations All Assam Students' Union (AASU), Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chhatra Parishad (AJYCP), and the peasant body Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti -- announcing plans to contest next year's polls.

This would pit them directly against the BJP party and its regional allies -- Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the Bodoland People's Front (BPF).

Today, the AASU-AJYCP coalition named its party as the 'Assam Jatiya Parishad', which has been floated as a "political alternative' to the ruling BJP by the regional bodies in the run-up to the 2021 polls in Assam.

Meanwhile, KMSS' leader, the incarcerated Akhil Gogoi, has appealed all the regional powers in the state to join hands in order to contest the 2021 polls. Gogoi's own KMSS has announced its intention to contest the polls, with the leader as its Chief Ministerial candidate.

KMSS President Bhasco de Saikia recently announced that the work agenda will be known as 'Asombasir Jatiya Karmahuchi' and it will be for a "future modern Assamese society". "We will send the constitution and the agenda to all district committees and our sister organizations. Then we will make this public and seek the peoples' opinion on them," he said.

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