Amit Shah explains why BJP’s Northeast face Himanta Biswa Sarma not in poll fray

BJP president Amit Shah on Friday cited the reasons why the party’s central leadership is averse to Sarma contesting the polls.

Published: 22nd March 2019 10:39 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd March 2019 10:39 PM   |  A+A-

BJP chief Amit Shah

BJP chief Amit Shah (File | PTI)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The BJP’s "face" in the Northeast, Himanta Biswa Sarma, will not be in the Lok Sabha poll fray as the party’s central leadership wants him to continue to work in the region and further build the party.

BJP president Amit Shah on Friday cited the reasons why the party’s central leadership is averse to Sarma contesting the polls.

“The BJP’s Assam election committee and the workers of the party had unanimously recommended the name of Himanta Biswa Sarma as a candidate for the Lok Sabha elections. However, in order to ensure that he can continue to serve as the chairman of (non-Congress) North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) for the development of the Northeast and for better coordination between the party and the Government of India, the BJP’s central leadership decided that he remains in Assam and keep fulfilling his responsibilities as a minister and the NEDA chairman to strengthen the party further in Assam and the Northeast,” Shah tweeted.

Sarma accepted the decision. He tweeted, “I am grateful that our party president Amit Shah Ji has reposed faith and trust in me. I consider this as a big recognition and I will not forget this in the rest of my life. I accept his decision”.

The BJP’s state leadership had recommended the name of Sarma for the prestigious Tezpur seat. When the sitting MP, Ram Prasad Sarmah, also of the BJP, got a whiff of it, he sought to resign but it was not accepted by the party. With Sarma out of the poll fray, the chances of the sitting MP getting the ticket have now brightened. Tezpur is considered as the safest constituency for the BJP.

Sarma is a powerful minister and he holds the portfolios of several departments including finance, health etc.

Recently, the BJP’s Assam unit president Ranjit Kumar Dass had told reporters that BJP general secretary Ram Madhav had wanted Sarma to contest the polls and as such, his name was sent to the party’s central leadership. The move was preceded by Sarma’s assertion that he would not be in the fray of 2021 Assam elections.

The 50-year-old Sarma is one of the most efficient ministers in the Northeast who is widely known as a master strategist. It was through his political manoeuvring the BJP first conquered Arunachal Pradesh and then Manipur. 


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