Assam’s Lok Sabha MP RP Sarmah Resigns From BJP

BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma is likely to run from Sarmah’s seat.

Published16 Mar 2019, 12:55 PM IST
2 min read

In a jolt to the BJP in Assam, its sitting MP from Tezpur Ram Prasad Sarmah on Saturday, 16 March, announced that he has quit the saffron party.

This comes at a time when the party is planning to nominate heavyweight and Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma from the same constituency.

In a Facebook post, Sarmah alleged of neglect old workers by "new intruders in the party" in which he served for over 29 years.

"I have left BJP today. I really feel pained in my heart for those old BJP workers of Assam who are most neglected in the party by the new intruders in the party," Sarma said in the post.

Sarmah's name was not included in the party's panel of probable candidate for Tezpur Lok Sabha seat. It only had the name of Assam minister and NEDA convener Himanta Biswa Sarma.

The list has been sent to Delhi and the names of the candidates for the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Assam is scheduled to be announced on Saturday, 16 March.

“I felt greatly insulted when my name, a sitting MP and the President of Assam Gorkha Sammelan, did not find place in a panel sent by the state BJP committee,” Sarmah in another post on the social media platform.

He, however, said that he would continue to serve the people of Assam and his constituency "till the end of his life".

Sarmah alleged that "old guards" of the party who had toiled for decades and brought the BJP to power were now "most neglected and ill treated".

"I was strongly raising my voice on their behalf. Now there will be none to raise voice for them," he claimed.

Sarmah, who belongs to the Gorkha community, was elected to the Lok Sabha the first time in 2014 from the Tezpur Parliamentary constituency which has a sizeable Gorkha population.

His candidature was at stake since his daughter's arrest in connection with the APSC job scam.

According to sources, the BJP in Assam is likely to put forth new candidates in at least four of the seven Lok Sabha seats – replacing sitting MPs from those constituencies.

There are various factors being cited for this replacement starting from old age to those who have not followed the party line in the past. There is also demand for younger, newer faces in the party.

The four constituencies are – Guwahati, Tezpur, Mangaldai and Naogaon.

While sitting MP from Guwahati Bijoya Chakravarty will be replaced for her old age, for the others, it is the anti-incumbency factor, said party sources.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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