GUWAHATI, Dec 25: The State BJP is agog with hectic politicking over its next president who will be elected by the end of this year.
The process of election of the Assam BJP chief kicked off today with five aspirants for the post collecting nomination papers from the party office here. They include MP from Nagaon constituency Rajen Gohain, Assam BJP vice-president Palit Bora, Bihali MLA Ranjit Dutta, Santanu Gogoi and Sidartha Bhattacharjee.
State BJP general secretary Nakul Barua, one of the contenders, is likely to take his nomination papers tomorrow.
Nominations papers will be issued till December 27. The last date for submission of papers is December 29 (till noon). Nominations, if any, must be withdrawn by the evening of December 29. The election is slated for December 30.
The State BJP is divided into several camps on who should be its new president.
A sizable section of party workers insist that an able person with an unblemished image should head the party. They are reportedly trying to impress newly-elected BJP president Nitin Gadkari and other central party leaders on the fact that election of people like Rajen Gohain and Ranjit Dutta would do more harm than good to the State BJP.
They feel that Gohain has to spend most of his time in New Delhi. His image as an MP has also taken a beating in Assam with allegations of misconduct brought against him by various quarters. Moreover, BJP fared badly in the last civic polls in his parliamentary constituency. Some BJP members believe that Dutta, if elected as the party president, would not be able to look after party affairs as he has not made it clear that he would not fight the 2011 State assembly elections. Besides this, Dutta could not do much for the BJP-AGP alliance in the last general elections in the State. It has become quite an issue with party workers that the BJP-AGP candidate did not get the BJP votes that helped Dutta win the last assembly election to Bihali constituency.
Grapevine has it that Palit Bora, too, is not in majority of BJP supporters’ good books in Assam. There is a general feeling among State BJP members that Nakul Barua is too old to be able to do justice to the top party post. Sidartha Bhattacharjee is a youth leader and political analyst but he is still unknown to many BJP supporters.
According to sources, the central BJP leadership is looking into the conflicting opinions from its Assam camp on the issue of election of the State BJP president.
Considering the situation in the Assam BJP, sources have not ruled out the possibility that the State BJP president may be finally selected or nominated, if not elected, by the party top brass. THE SENTINEL