All Rotten Potatoes In BJP’s Kitchen: Congress After Kalita’s Exit
GUWAHATI: The Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rajya Sabha member of the parliament (MP) Bhubaneshwar Kalita who resigned from the Congress Party on 5th August (Monday) last to protest against his party's stand on the scrapping of Article 370. He thereafter joined the BJP on 9th August (Friday). Slamming the move of the erstwhile senior Congress leader, the APCC dubbed him as a “rotten potato.”
“All the rotten potatoes are in the BJP,”said APCC general secretary and chief spokesperson Apurba Bhattacharya.
He said that BJP’s motto used to be “Congress Mukt Bharat,” but now it is now becoming “Congress Jukt BJP.”
“If some leaders like Bhubaneshwar Kalita leave Congress, the party will not be affected,” said Bhattacharya expressing his anger on Kalita as according to him the Congress Party had done a lot for Kalita but Kalita had finally betrayed the party. Kalita was also the chief whip in the Rajya Sabha.
On Monday (5th August), Kalita resigned from the membership of the Upper House opposing the party's stand on the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
Rajya Sabha Chairman, M Venkaih Naidu, announced in the House that he has accepted Kalita's resignation.
Samajwadi Party member from Uttar Pradesh Sanjay Seth also resigned from the Upper House and the chairman accepted his resignation as well.
The resignations from Rajya Sabha came ahead of the crucial vote on a resolution scrapping Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir and a bill to bifurcate the state into two union territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
Pawan Singh Ghatowar & family likely to join BJP
With a number of Congress leaders gradually joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in Assam, Pawan Singh Ghatowar is the next Congress leader who is likely to join the BJP.
A highly placed source in the BJP, talking to G Plus, revealed that Pawan Singh Ghatowar might join the BJP along with his wife and son.
“The talks are in process. Nothing has been finalised. But Ghatowar and family are interested in joining the BJP. It may take some time,” informed the source.
It was being gauged by political observers that Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was working towards enticing Congress leaders and converting them into the BJP fold, but the RSS rubbished the observation.
A top RSS leader of Assam, talking to G Plus under condition of anonymity said, “RSS is not persuading Congress leaders to join the BJP. It is the BJP who are taking decisions themselves.”
The leader said that RSS works for BJP during general elections and therefore BJP wins, but other than that RSS never works to convert members from other parties into the BJP fold.
“They (BJP) take our permission when they want,” said the leader expressing that Bhubaneshwar Kalita’s permission was not taken from RSS and they do not have any information about Ghatowar either.
The leader claimed that across India, BJP mostly loses elections during by-election and not general elections because during general elections the RSS works 24X7 at the grassroots level for BJP’s victory. But the same does not happen during by-elections.
Similarly, when any leader from a different party joins the BJP, the decision is mostly taken by BJP itself; it is only sometimes that the RSS opinion is sought.
There are many Congress leaders who are planning to join the BJP but again they are apprehensive of not getting tickets during elections, expressed the RSS leader. Some leaders are even restricted by RSS as they might harm the sentiments of the sevaks and the Sangh as a whole, the leader said.
RSS restricts Gautam Roy’s entry to BJP
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has restricted the entry of the Congress heavyweight from Barak Valley, Gautam Roy’s entry into the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“Many BJP leaders are trying to induct Gautam Roy into the party, but the RSS has restricted the entry because of the complications involved in the issue,” said a top RSS leader from Assam under condition of anonymity.
The leader expressed that when Roy was in power, he had “tortured” many RSS and BJP members in the Barak Valley. Therefore, the RSS is totally against his induction into the saffron party.
During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Roy tried his best to join the BJP and it was also rumoured that he might contest on a BJP ticket from Silchar against Congress leader Sushmita Dev.
A BJP source in Hailakandi district, talking to G Plus, said that there are a few BJP leaders who have some connivance with Roy and they pulled the strings with the BJP high command to induct Roy into the BJP. But the RSS and the local BJP members protested against the decision.
Gautam Roy is a heavyweight Congress leader and even backed former Congress and present BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma during the dissidence which erupted in Assam Congress after BJP won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. But later, after Himanta’s demands were not addressed by the Congress high command, Roy parted ways with Himanta and backed the Tarun Gogoi lobby to get the social welfare ministry in Assam.
“He can never join BJP,” said the top RSS leader.