Lok Sabha polls: Assam BJP MP Ram Prasad Sarmah quits party after being denied ticket

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and BJP stalwart Himanta Biswa Sarma are among a few leaders who had defected to the BJP from other parties in the past few years.

Published: 16th March 2019 12:43 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th March 2019 07:20 PM   |  A+A-

Ram Prasad Sarmah. (Photo| Facebook)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: Assam BJP MP, Ram Prasad Sarmah, resigned from the party on Saturday as he was livid over the non-inclusion of his name in the list of probable party candidates for Tezpur seat that he represents.

He said, “I have left BJP today. But I really feel pained in my heart for those old BJP workers of Assam who were most neglected in the party by the new intruders in the party. I was strongly raising my voice on their behalf. Now there will be none to raise voice for them”.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and BJP stalwart Himanta Biswa Sarma are among a few leaders who had defected to the BJP from other parties in the past few years.

Stating that he had served the BJP for 29 years and the RSS-VHP for 15 years, Sarmah said he felt greatly insulted when his name did not figure in the list of probable candidates which the BJP’s state unit sent to central leadership.

“The old guards of the party who had toiled for decades and brought the BJP to power are now most neglected and ill treated,” he alleged, adding, “I will continue to serve the people of the state and Tezpur till the end of my life. I will always lovingly nurture your support and love for me for such a long time”.

Sarmah, who is the president of Assam Gorkha Sammelan, has not revealed if he will contest the polls as an independent or otherwise. The Tezpur Lok Sabha seat has a sizeable Gorkha population and he predicted the BJP would have to pay a price for ignoring him. 

Speculations were rife for some time that the BJP will deny ticket to him and field Himanta Biswa Sarma instead in Tezpur. However, according to reports, BJP president Amit Shah is averse to Sarma contesting the polls as he wants the Assam leader to continue to work towards strengthening the party in Northeast.

Sarma is the chairman of BJP-headed North East Democratic Front (NEDA), which is a non-Congress conglomerate of political parties of the region. He has been instrumental in scripting the BJP’s victories in several states of Northeast over the past three years.

Meanwhile, the BJP’s Nagaon MP Rajen Gohain, who is the Minister of State for Railways, has announced that he will not be in the poll fray. However, his wife, Rita, is keen on contesting.

Gohain said he would not contest the elections as a police case is pending against him. The case was registered against him last year in Nagaon after a 24-year-old married woman had accused him of allegedly raping and threatening her.

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