“If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.”
– G. Wells
The coupling up of alliances with small parties in semi oblivion in states where there is barely a presence and then turning the tables on the ruling party, read the Congress, and forming the government is an amazing tool in the armoury of the BJP. It has done a very commendable job in the north east with Manipur, Assam, Tripura in its kitty and rendering the Congress paralysed in Nagaland and Meghalaya. If democracy is all about numbers and forming the government no one can beat the BJP. It is doing what is needed so that it is in the hot seat, to get the hot seat to steer the ship, which in this case happens to be a nation. With the slogan Jati, Mati aru Bheti, that tugs at the heart strings of every Assamese, the BJP, with Himanta Biswa Sarma at the helm of the campaigning trial for the last assembly election it has romp home to the seats in Dispur with AGP and Hagrama Mahilary in tow. All was hunky dory till the time the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 threatens to part them, i.e., AGP and BJP. The AGP leadership and the party ministers in the Sarbananda Sonowal’s cabinet have been making noises that it is strongly against the implementation of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. But, now, BJP helms man-cum-trouble shooter-cum-wheeling dealing wizard Himanta Biswa Sarma is getting visibly irritated by the day with the AGP. They are now becoming awkward sleeping partners with the cliché- relationship of convenience. But for how long?
The once blue eyed AGP boys that carried the dreams of the people of Assam on their shoulders are increasingly getting weak-kneed with a meeker demeanour by the day and soon it may lost the people’s trust, or whatever is left of it, just as it did one and half decade back. The BJP, in case, it is speaking through Himanta Biswa Sarma, has made its intention clear- It is for Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. Minister Sarma had laid it down in black and white for the AGP that its position is untenable in case it is to be part of the state government. Widespread protest by social organisations across all ethnicity, tribe and age group the BJP is bent on placing before the table that soon Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 will be thrust down everyone’s throat. The success of the BJP largely depended on the incorruptible image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but at the rate the BJP’s policy of going against the people is flowing out, the electorate may soon opt for the old ways- corrupt but happy in receiving doles of mosquito nets and blankets.
This is the first term of the BJP-led NDA and the BJP can be forgiven for teething trouble but if this goes on for long it will become the norm. At this rate soon development will become stagnant as before, government welfare schemes for the economically weaker section of the society will not be implemented and shown to be implemented on paper and Assam will be the direct immediate victim of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 slowly and steadily followed by others in the north east. The other states in the north east may feel safe at the outset with people of Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram more asserted and vocal about Bangladeshis. In Assam, will the AGP and Hagrama Mahilary stand up for the people?