Assam: Is the New State BJP Office Bearer Post a Tradeoff for the Potential 2021 Ticket Seeker?
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has recently appointed its office bearers afresh. It even announced the names of the state spokespersons. These activities are clear hints that the BJP is gearing up for the upcoming 2021 assembly elections as early as this August.
However, a clean sweep for the ruling BJP in Assam does not look like a cakewalk as many of its own party members seem to be upset with the party.
The move of appointing the office bearers for three years 2020 - 2023 is being construed by political observers as a stunt to reduce the numbers of ticket aspirants. A source in the state BJP revealed that office bearers are expected to dedicatedly work for the party and not contest.
The source said, "According to the BJP high command in Delhi, office bearers are not expected to contest because the work of the entire party is entrusted on them and they cannot work in their own bastions for wooing the voters." The source said that once an office bearer is appointed it is understood that during the tenure he/she won't be able to contest.
There are some names in the list of the office bearers that were doing the rounds as probable party ticket seekers. But now, their luck seems to have run out if they were at all desirous to contest.
Jayanta Mallah Baruah, known as a close associate of a prominent BJP leader, was a member of legislative assembly (MLA) from Nalbari before the 2016 elections while he was in the Congress Party then. After he joined BJP, he did not get the party ticket to contest in 2016. He might have been expecting to get an opportunity for the 2021 elections but now he has been appointed as the state vice president (VP) of the party.
Dr. Rajdeep Roy from Silchar, Tapan Gogoi from Jorhat, and Pallab Lochan Das from Tezpur are Lok Sabha MPs and all three of them have been appointed as state general secretaries. While already being MPs they might not have any aspirations for contesting the forthcoming assembly elections but if at all they were harbouring such dreams, those look shattered now.
There were permutations that Rupam Goswami might be an aspirant from a prestigious seat in Guwahati but as with the other office bearers, if he did have any such aspirations, the situation now looks difficult as he has been appointed as the chief spokesperson.
Political observers have been calculating that Taranga Gogoi is also in the race from Namrup but he has been appointed as an office-bearer now.
The other names which are in the new office bearers list are Dr. Hem Prabha Borthakur (VP), Bijuli Kalita Medhi (VP), Rekha Rani Das Boro (VP), Swapnanil Baruah (VP), Ratan Teron (VP), Palak Gohain (VP) Jayanta Kumar Das (VP), Rajkumar Sharma (Treasurer), Diplu Ranjan Sharma (secretary), Kishore Upadhaya (secretary), Krishnamoni Chutia (secretary), Lucy Roy (secretary), Sukumar Biswas (secretary), Akoni Devi (secretary), Benu Dhar Nath (secretary). Some more names are there in the list of the BJP morcha.
On August 7, the state BJP president Ranjit Dass also appointed some party spokespersons who have to dedicatedly work for the party. Queen Ojha (Lok Sabha MP), Janki Khaound, Biswarup Bhattacharjee, Aswani Pait, Ramkrishna Ghosh, Pramod Swami, Manoj Barua, Lakhya Konwar, Phani Pathak, Pabitra Margherita, Subhash Dutta, Hemanga Thakuria and Suranjan Dutta were appointed as party spokespersons.
It needs to be mentioned that the ruling BJP in Assam conducts a survey to check the prospects of ticket aspirants prior to giving the party ticket to contest. The same will happen in the 2021 assembly polls.
The party has already launched a massive feedback generation exercise pertaining to the MLAs across 124 assembly constituencies out of the 126 assembly constituencies of the state.
According to media reports, the state BJP president, Ranjeet Kumar Dass, had said that once the party finalizes the aspirants and sends the same to the central leadership, a survey on the aspirants is conducted. The survey tries to study the prospects and performance of the aspirants.
The BJP in Assam is preparing a report card of all the MLAs including its own, which will be handed over to party president JP Nadda.
Assam BJP today has lobbies sprouting up within it. Levelling serious allegations against a top party member without taking a name, BJP legislator from Hojai, Shiladitya Dev, recently had said, "There is one person in the party who roams around with a bag and will destroy the BJP in Assam soon." He added that the person he is talking about has become so powerful that he can get anybody killed at any time and this has forced him (Shiladitya) to take the crucial decision of retiring from the party. He would however serve out his term as the MLA.
Dev had also alleged that the state BJP is today divided along with three camps or factions - each headed by Sarbananda Sonowal, Himanta Biswa Sarma, and Ranjit Dass.
If there are any rifts or lobbies in Assam BJP it will be eventually known which lobby's members got the maximum tickets to contest the polls. But these lobbies might also throw a spanner in the works on the party's ambition to make a clean sweep and get its target of 100 seats in the Assam Assembly in 2021.
- Assam News
- Assam election 2021
- Bharatiya Janata Party
- State Office Bearer
- Assembly election