Senior BJP leader and Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday sounded the poll bugle months ahead of the Assembly elections scheduled for next year by attacking Congress leader and former chief minister Tarun Gogoi for seeking an alliance with Badruddin Ajmal’s AIUDF.
Speaking of the 85-year-old Gogoi, Sarma said, “In Hindu religion, this is the time for sanyas… At his age, instead of seeking Ram and Krishna, Tarun Gogoi has searched for Ajmal. You look at the person’s degeneration.”
Gogoi has no significance in the coming elections, Sarma claimed, urging the media to “leave him alone” lest he “suffers” and gets “agitated” upon hearing poll-related questions from reporters.
Sarma’s comments come after the state Congress leadership — both Gogoi and state president Ripun Bora — indicated that the opposition party was seeking to build an anti-BJP grand alliance, which will supposedly comprise of Ajmal’s All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and other parties and groups opposed to the BJP.
The BJP leader also kept the question of his contesting the elections in abeyance. When asked who would be the chief ministerial face, he said, “Who knows whether or not I will contest elections this time? I do not know that myself. How can you all think so much ahead? First it has to be decided whether or not I will contest elections. I am dedicatedly working towards serving the people of Assam.”
He said that each and every one of the state’s 3.3 crore population was “eligible” to become the CM. “Election should be based on who can do more for the people of Assam,” Sarma added.
‘Naga peace talks going smoothly’
Guwahati: The Naga peace talks are on track, Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said Tuesday, adding that he had a small role to play in them.
“The talks are going on smoothly. I was given a small responsibility which was fulfilled. The dialogue is on track. They are discussing with the MHA,” Sarma said.
Sarma’s statement comes amidst altercations between the NSCN-IM, which is the largest Naga group engaged in talks with the Central government, and Nagaland Governor RN Ravi, who is also New Delhi’s interlocutor for the talks, over the last few months which has caused speculation of deterioration in the talks. —ENS
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