BJP national executive member and former IT cell national convenor Prodyut Bora on Wednesday quit the party after complaining against the style of functioning of its leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and president Amit Shah. Modi, he alleged, had damaged the democratic tradition of the party, while Shah was arrogant and his style of functioning highly individualised and centralized.
Reacting to the allegations leveled by Bora, Assam BJP president Siddhartha Bhattacharyya said these allegations were baseless and leveled by a person who hardly had any mass contact.
“Prodyut Bora’s allegations are baseless and highly personalized. He had never aired his grievances in any party forum. Putting out grievances through Facebook, Twitter, SMS and press releases are useless until and unless one attends party meetings and places them there. Bora mostly lives outside the state and is hardly seen among the masses,” Bhattacharyya said.
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The Assam BJP president particularly pointed at the party’s significant victory in the state’s civic elections and said, “Had Bora’s allegations been true, the BJP would not have won majority in 39 of the state’s 74 town committees and municipal boards,” he said.
The first ever IIM graduate to have ventured into politics, Bora also hit out at the BJP state leadership, including president Siddhartha Bhattacharyya and two Assam MPs Bijoya Chakravarty and Rajen Gohain amongst others. While many MPS and MLAs in Assam are remote-controlled by the Congress, the BJP was now considering induction of controversial Congress leader Himanta Biswa Sarma into the party, he alleged.
Bora (40), who today shot off a long resignation letter to BJP president Amit Shah – copies of which were also made available to the media apart from being put up in the social media – particularly hit out at both Modi and Shah for being arrogant, and said the situation had reached such a passé that no cabinet minister, national officer bearer or MP can muster courage to question Modi.
“The Indian people have embraced democracy not just in form but also in spirit. In the ‘cabinet system’ that we have adopted, the Prime Minister is the ‘first among equals’, not the first among unequals. But, if my understanding is correct, hasn’t Modi-ji damaged this democratic tradition?” he asked.
Bora, who was national convenor of the BJP IT Cell during 2007-09 and a member of the back-room boys during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, had also contested, though unsuccessfully, in the Assam assembly elections in 2011. He was also BJP’s national media cell member in the past.
“Today the Foreign Minister barely knows that the Foreign Secretary is about to get fired; Cabinet Ministers cannot even appoint their own OSDs (Officers on Special Duty); and power is increasingly being centralised in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). This makes me wonder: does the Cabinet System still exist in this country? I am mortified to see that no Cabinet Minister, no National Office Bearer, no Member of Parliament has demonstrated the courage to question Modi-ji on the subversion of this fine democratic tradition,” Bora said.
Bora also complained that while the BJP government at the Centre had remained indifferent towards the flood and erosion problem of Assam, it had also scrapped the North-East Industrial and Investment Policy, leading to loss of about Rs 30,000 crore worth prospective investment in the state. He also wanted to know what happened to Modi’s announcement during the Lok Sabha election campaign that Bangladeshi infiltrators would have to pack up after the polls.
Yet another allegation he has leveled is that the party was preparing to admit controversial Congress leader Himanta Biswa Sarma, who, he alleged, was once with the ULFA and now implicated in the Saradha scam. He also pointed out that the state BJP Kishan Morcha today has two vice-presidents who are former ULFA leaders.
“What great virtue do you see in Himanta Biswa Sarma, apart from winning elections by hook or crook, that you are considering inducting him into the party? Is he going to be BJP’s paradigm of a model karyakarta? Or do the considerations of winning elections make you overlook a person’s antecedents completely?” he asked.