ASSAM YEARENDER 2015
When it comes to politics, the year 2015 will be remembered in Assam for the wrong reasons.
The year was synonymous with political degradation --- marred by dissidence, desertions, renunciation of value-based politics besides sordid verbal duels among netas.
The most talked-about event of the year was the rebellion launched by Himanta Biswa Sarma in the Congress and his subsequent joining the BJP. Nine Congress legislators, known for their loyalty to Sarma, followed suit
Tarun Gogoi, the three-time chief minister who almost single-handedly brought the Congress to power in the State in 2001, undertook a ministerial reshuffle - a first during his 14-year stint in the hot seat. He however continued to face dissidence led by a section of party leaders, who demanded a change in leadership.
Although senior party leaders rushed to quell the dissidence, yet the rebellion from within and the subsequent infighting cost the party dear. The Congress was routed in the civic polls.
Once a staunch supporter of regiolism, former AGP minister Zoiith Sarma however joined the Congress recently. AGP MLAs Padma Hazarika and ba Kumar Doley went the opposite direction, jumping into the saffron bandwagon, leaving the regiol party disintegrating further.
As year 2015 draws to a close, it has set the tone for next year's assembly polls, primarily between the ruling Congress and the BJP.
Wary of the saffron surge, the beleaguered Congress is now looking for "like-minded partners for a maha-understanding" in the coming polls from among its rivals like the Asom Ga Parishad (AGP), the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and the Left parties.
The AGP is talking to both the Congress and the BJP, while the BPF, which had spped ties with the Congress, has openly announced its support to the BJP.
Amid an increasing polarization of voters in the State, derogatory remarks from politicians vitiated the atmosphere as the year drew to its end.
The Chief Minister's advisor Nilomoni Sen Deka, AIUDF supremo Badruddin Ajmal, parliamentary secretary Rupjyoti Kurmi and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma made statements that showed up the State's culture and tradition in poor light. Even Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi was compelled to say that his colleague Nilomoni Sen Deka's statement was "despicable and unwarranted" and not in line with his party's culture.
To cap it all, Congress and BJP supporters engaged in pitched battles on Guwahati streets as people witnessed scenes unprecedented in the State.