GUWAHATI: NEDA Convener and Assam minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday said incumbent Hojai MLA Shiladitya Dev will campaign for the party across the State. Sarma clarified that Dev is with BJP and he will remain a BJP karyakarta in the future.
“Shiladitya Dev was a BJP Karyakarta, he is and he will remain a karyakarta in future. Shiladitya Dev will be given responsibility to campaign for the BJP across Assam”, Sarma said after meeting the Hojai MLA at his Lanka residence.
This visit by Dr. Sarma is seen as a gesture to pacify Dev who had resigned from the party on Thursday as he was denied party ticket. Dr. Sarma was accompanied by BJP General Secretary Dilip Saikia.
Shiladitya Dev had won the Hojai seat in 2016 but was denied a BJP party ticket this time. The BJP nominated Ramakrishna Ghosh this time as the party candidate from Hojai. After Dev came to know that he would be denied party ticket he was upset and wanted to quit.
Earlier reacting to the development, Dev wrote on his Facebook page on 10 March, “Finally, I have been kicked out of BJP”. His post saw a lot of comments supporting him and urging him to contest as an independent candidate. Shiladitya has been vocal about the Hindutva ideology and is seen as a hardliner who had the support of RSS.
On Thursday, BJP MLA from Jagiroad, Pijush Hazarika visited Shiladitya’s residence in Hojai and had to face the anger of party workers. Hazarika briefed the BJP workers that he had come in good faith as Dev was like his elder brother and he wanted to remove all confusions. “I publicly request him not to take this harsh decision that he would leave the party and contest as an independent candidate. I also request his close workers that they keep the principles of the party in mind and take a positive stand,” said Pijush Hazarika to the present media and BJP workers.