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B L Santosh In Assam: What Is More Important During The Pandemic?

Earlier this week, top BJP leaders from Assam gathered in a series of meeting, much with agreements and disagreements, at the Brahmaputra State Guest House in Guwahati.

The reason behind packing up at the “official” chief minister’s residence is speculated over the change in top leadership at Dispur.

While it was reported earlier that there are rumours in Dispur for a change in the chief ministerial position, the arrival of Bharatiya Janata Party’s National Organizational General Secretary B L Santosh in Guwahati has added the fuel to the earlier speculation.

A top source at the party speaking on the condition of anonymity, said, “After B L Santosh Ji arrived in Guwahati on Wednesday, the top leadership have gathered at the guesthouse [Brahmaputra State Guest House] to discuss on party-related issues.”

However, he didn’t specify on a particular issue but gave up some series of hints.

“The issue of changing the chief minister is likely to be discussed in the meeting. Not sure!” he smiled.

According to reports, Assam’s chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, BJP Assam state president Ranjeet Kumar Dass along with few top leaderships of state BJP, party advisors and political analysts have driven towards the guest house.

However, amid the Covid-19 scare, the move by Santosh and the state leadership to hold a series of meeting raises eyebrows.

What is very important when the number of Covid-19 positive cases in Assam have surged?

BPF or UPPL?

Ahead of the forthcoming Bodoland Territorial Council elections, the tension in the political corridors has been in the frontline.

With the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) executive president Pramod Boro claiming to win the BTC polls in the full mandate, Hagrama Mohilary-led Bodoland People Front (BPF) is also optimistic of regaining the throne once again.

BPF have filed nominations in all 60 seats. Whereas, BJP has part ways with the BPF, an ally in Dispur and will contest the BTC polls single-handedly.

Sources at the BJP told us that out of 25 seats filed by the national-party, BJP is sure to win at least 15 seats.

Experts from the region projected that most of the people are with the UPPL since the party talks cutting down the line of community, religion and class for the harmony of people.

A source in the BJP earlier told us that this BTC polls will be an assessment test for UPPL and if they can win the hearts of people, the national-party is likely to ally with them in the upcoming legislative election.

However, with the recent joining by Anjali Daimary in BPF and speculation arising around Ranjan Daimary joining the poiltics have slightly turned the table towards BPF in winning the BTC polls.

Moreover, a well-placed source from Bodoland area has informed us that there is a likely chance that few insurgents currently in Myanmar might come over ground and join the peace process through a political way. The speculation is that they might join BPF.

These top insurgents hold a different sentiment in the Bodo households and if they join active politics, the 30 per cent Bodo voters might cast for BPF, said the source.

And, the rest 70 per cent non-Bodo voters might be divided between BJP, UPPL, Congress and MP Naba Sarania-led Gana Suraksha Party (GSP) and the Jonogusthiyo Oikyo Mancha.

If that’s the case, the divide in vote shares would further benefit BPF.

This uncertainty has confused the leadership in the state BJP to ally with whom. They are still assessing the benefits.

The lobby within BJP has further confused the deal and that’s the probable reason of Santosh flying to Guwahati amid the pandemic.

Himanta’s name finalised?

As speculated earlier that the name of Himanta Biswa Sarma doing rounds as the chief minister of Assam, the arrival of Santosh in Guwahati has added more fuel to the speculation.

“It is confirmed that Himanta Biswa Sarma will be the new chief minister of Assam. While Sarbada [Sarbananda Sonowal] will step down for the time being,” a top source told earlier.

Political analysts are eying on the development and it is expected that something news-worthy would be announced by Santosh.

However, it is still not sure that if that would be related to Himanta or BTC or just another issue within the party.

But why would B L Santosh fly to Guwahati just to douse the internal rift within the state BJP? It has to be something in a storm-scale.

The stand will be clear once they officially announce but the political corridor within BJP has rumoured that the discussion is regarding Himanta and in the meantime, the party also decided on the “likely ally” for 2021 Assam polls in the Bodoland region.

Until then, political stories continue to revolve around the rumours and the veracious gossips.

Read the Headline8 Exclusive story: BJP Buzz “Xokolute Ananda, Himanta”!

Also read: “Not keen” or Impatiently Longing to Become the Chief Minister?

What do you think?

Written by Nilutpal Timsina

Nilutpal Timsina is working as a Journalist for Headline8. He is a journalism graduate from Bangalore University. His areas of interest include civic issue, politics, and public policy spheres and other functionality of the government. Besides writing news, Nilutpal also coordinates with the video production team with story researches. He can be reached at: niluttimsina@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @nilutpaltimsina

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