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Vertical split in Assam BJP over president

Simmering difference seems to have crippled Assam BJP unit hardly six months before the assembly polls. The party in rank and file are heading for a verticle split over the new president as Siddharth Bhattacharya’s tenure ends. Bhattacharya and his loyalists want extenion till the assembly polls while many others are dead opposed to it. But who will be the new president to lead the party in the assembly polls early next year?

Bhattacharya is believed to have sought the extention in view of the assembly polls. Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma who is also learnt to have urged the central leadership to retain Bhattacharya as the state unit president triggering stiff resistance from many senior leaders including a few sitting MPs and MLAs.

 A cricle of senior leaders and MPs has already apprised the central leadership of the possible adverse impact in the polls if Bhattacharya is allowed to continue the post. They have told the leadership that the party would have to pay the heavy price under Bhattacharya’s leadership. The Central leadership want Sarbananda Sonowal to replace Bhattacharya. But a senior party leader who refused to be named told Assam Times that the Union minister is not at all interested to accept the offer.

 “He is not happpy with the state of affairs in the state unit. That’s why, he is least interested to take the rein. Then he will have to quit as Union minister,” said the senior BJP leader. “Definitely, if BJP president asks him to go and take over as state unit president Sonowal has no option but to do so. But he is not interested,” he said.   

 Rajen Gohain, Ram Prasad Sarma, Ramen Deka, Rameswar Teli and Bijaya Chakrabarty don’t want Bhattacharya as president while Kamakhya Prasad Tasa is ready to folllow what Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma wants. Notably, the central leadership has yet to allow 9 sitting Congress MLAs promising poll tickets only acting on the protest from the state leadership.

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