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Visible conflicts have emerged within Assam’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Former State BJP President Siddhartha Bhattacharya penned a letter to the current president, Bhabesh Kalita, expressing concerns of a conspiracy against longstanding party members.
Talking to media Siddhartha Bhattacharya said that individuals who were involved in an attack on Vajpayee Bhawan in the past are now gaining prominence within the party. Former BJP MLA Ashok Sarma also raised an alarm about new party members possibly undermining the older ones.
Simultaneously, a prominent BJP leader and former union minister, Rajen Gohain, resigned from his position as chairman of the Assam Food and Civil Supplies Corporation.
Shortly after BJP MLA Siddhartha Bhattacharya spoke about the roles of experienced BJP leaders in the state, cabinet minister Pijush Hazarkia pointed out that he too is a seasoned member, having spent over 8 years with the party.
Commenting on the alleged division between veteran BJP leaders, particularly Siddhartha Bhattacharya, and the present leaders, Hazarkia noted, “I have already completed 9 years in BJP, so how can I be new? On August 28, Himanta Biswa Sarma will also reach his 9th year with BJP. In the next year, it will be a decade,” he added. Hazarkia acknowledged that Siddhartha Bhattacharya introduced them to the BJP, and if anything positive has occurred, Bhattacharya should be proud, and if anything has gone amiss, he should take responsibility.
In the backdrop of the last Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections, where numerous sitting MLAs were denied party tickets, replaced by new entrants from other parties, tensions have escalated. Noteworthy replacements include former Tezpur MP Ram Prasad Sharma, former Nagaon MP Rajen Gohain, and former Nalbari MLA Ashok Sharma. This internal discord over the party’s established and new members could potentially impact the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The role of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in this context will hold significance.