Siddhartha Bhattacharyya Likely to Face Tough Competition for Gauhati East Ticket in 2021 Polls
GUWAHATI: After the induction of two new ministers into the Assam state cabinet on 25th January last, some ministerial portfolios where reshuffled and the education department is again back with Himanta Biswa Sarma. The eduation ministry was hitherto looked after by Minister Siddhartha Bhattacharyya ever since he was inducted into the ministry. Though Bhattacharya still enjoys being the Guwahati Development Department (GDD) minister, in the upcoming 2021 assembly elections, the Gauhati East member of the legislative assembly (MLA) is likely to face a tough contest in obtaining the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) ticket to contest from his bastion.
A highly placed source in the BJP, talking to G Plus, revealed that the party high command is not too happy with Bhattacharya’s performance and might not give him the ticket if he doesn’t change his disposition towards his party workers.
“Around 70% ward level party workers are not happy with the cabinet minister,” revealed the source. The BJP, prior to providing party tickets to any candidate from any constituency to contest in the elections, conducts a booth level survey on the applicants who have applied for tickets. The source revealed that Siddhartha Bhattacharyya might get negative responses this time because of his purported arrogance.
“Siddhartha Bhattacharyya is very arrogant with the workers, officials and everyone who knows him,” said the source.
Looking at the situation it was expressed by the source that there are many other aspirants for the Gauhati East ticket.
“Legal advisor to the chief minister of Assam, Shantanu Bharali, is a formidable contender against Siddhartha Bhattacharyya for the Gauhati East BJP ticket for 2021,” said the BJP source adding that former Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Mayor Mrigen Sarania is also a fairly tough contender as he is an old friend of chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
Even the names of Rupam Goswami (BJP spokesperson) and Rajkumar Tewari (Fancy Bazar businessman and former GMC councillor) are making the rounds as they are pretty prominent as applicants for the tickets, the source said. Goswami is known as a trouble shooter of the Guwahati BJP unit and Tewari, as a councillor, has proved his mettle in Fancy Bazar and the surrounding areas.
The issues which concern Guwahatians and are going against Siddhartha Bhattacharyya are that since Bhattacharya became the GDD minister in 2018, Guwahatians did not witness any significant development or change-for-the-better in the city.
It’s going to be almost two years and the city wards are without any councillors as the ward elections are pending since July 2018.
The ropeway project, even after completion, is not being inaugurated for reasons unknown.
The Tallest National Flag atop the Gandhi Mandap hillock was a major unplanned project. The water supply project in Guwahati keeps getting postponed and is presently nowhere near completion.
The parking lot at Fancy Bazar and the much anticipated botanical garden in the old jail campus still looks like a pipedream.
The minister, after joining as GDD chief, was seen visiting Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) and Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) offices like a Bollywood Nayak, slamming and threatening officials for not being sincere. But after 22 months of being the GDD minister, no great impact has been made by him in the city.
Before the 2016 legislative assembly, the minister used to claim that he knows Guwahati well and will try and resolve all the issues. Even Guwahatians were glad when he was inducted as the GDD minister. But now only one question comes to the mind of Guwahatians.
Is GDD in safe hands? Should Siddhartha Bhattacharyya be given the ticket to contest the 2021 elections from the very prestigious Gauhati East? Whatever may be the public decision, the present Gauhati East BJP MLA will face a tough test for a ticket from his own party.