The BJP has not yet announced the new Chief Minister for Assam, a state it won decisively in the recently-held Assembly election, because of the post-poll violence reported in West Bengal. The party’s top leadership has been busy in the neighbouring state since May 4, handling the alleged attack on its cadres by Trinamool Congress backers.
BJP National President JP Nadda has, however, indicated that a decision will be taken soon on both the next Assam Chief Minister and Bengal’s leader of the opposition.
Political observers believe the BJP central leadership will have a tough call in Assam between the clean image of incumbent Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and its most powerful leader in the northeast, the astute Himanta Biswa Sarma.
The BJP won the Assam Assembly polls whose results were declared on May 2, gathering 75 out of the 126 seats, giving the party a consecutive term in the state.
Meanwhile, hundreds claiming to be BJP supporters have fled West Bengal fearing persecution by leaders of the Trinamool Congress which won the neighbouring state with 213 of the 294 seats.
“Our only mistake was to support the BJP by going beyond our religious beliefs. That’s why they have come to our houses, beat us, molested our women, and threatened to make our lives miserable if we stay there or continue supporting the BJP. So we fled,” said a man in his late 60s, wearing a mask over his white flowing beard and skull cap on Wednesday.
“They said first, they will beat us as we have supported BJP despite being a minority and then the Hindus,” said another person in his late 20s or early 30s, also wearing a skull cap.
They have gathered at Kherabari, Japsabari, Pokrabari area under Agomoni, Golakganj police station in Dhubri district of western Assam where, according to the state government, they were provided food and shelter.
Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday claimed that around 300-400 BJP workers and their family had crossed over to Dhubri in Assam following the violence in West Bengal.