BJP denies ticket to ‘controversial’ MLA Shiladitya Dev; announces list for 2nd phase Assam polls
The Bharatiya Janata Party announced a list of three candidates for the second phase of the Assam Assembly elections, while denying a ticket to sitting MLA from Hojai, Shiladitya Dev to contest the poll.
The saffron party has instead announced the name of Ramakrishna Ghosh as the candidate from Hojai.
The other two names in the list include Milan Das, who will contest from Hailakandi constituency in Barak Valley, while former Assam Sahitya Sabha president, who recently joined BJP, Paramananda Rajbongshi, will contest from Sipajhar constituency in the north bank.
Dev, who is outspoken, often triggering controversies on sensitive issues, was quick to react to the “snub” on social media.
“Finally, I have been kicked out from BJP,” he posted on his Facebook page.
Later, expressing his thoughts before the media, he said, “There was a big conspiracy not to give me a ticket… in fact, this was being planned in the past four years… My push to the Hindutva agenda has had a bearing on this decision not to nominate me again as a BJP candidate from Hojai.”
Informing that he would quit the party on Wednesday evening, Dev said, “Once I tender my resignation, I will become a free man. From tomorrow, I will start a new journey.”
Accusing the party, he alleged, “BJP is not the party that was under Vajpayee ji or Advani ji,…. it is now a commercial party.”
Asked whether he would contest as an Independent or join any other party, he replied, “At his moment, I am still with the party, so I will say nothing….”
He had even once “insulted” Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal when the latter referred to jatiyo chetona or having consciousness about Assamese nationalism, while addressing a rally in Lakhimpur, when the anti-CAB (Citizenship Amendment Bill) protests had rocked the state.
In July 2019, Dev had charged former National Register of Citizens (NRC) state coordinator, Prateek Hajela of “working with a hidden agenda”, alleging that the NRC is “tampered with some software that can make anyone an Indian or foreigner”.
(Edited by Christopher Gatphoh)