On Saturday evening, Union Home minister and BJP leader Amit Shah held a meeting of the BJP core group for Assam. In that hour-long meeting, Shah took stock of BJP preparedness for the upcoming Assam Assembly polls slated in mid 2021.
While leaders like Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, NEDA convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma, state chief Ranjeet Dass and state in-charge Baijant Jay Panda spoke in that meeting appraising Shah about the present political situation in the state and the the impact of the recently concluded BTC election. The leaders also told the Home Minister how the success in the recently concluded Tiwa Autonomous Council (TAC) elections where BJP and allies got 35 out of 36 seats had raised the morale of the party workers.
Shah did some plain-speaking at the meeting asking the state unit to keep the momentum going. He stressed on how from 2016 till now, the kind of work that was done by Sonowal-Himanta combine put them on strong footing ahead of the next year's assembly polls.
Sources said he advised the state unit to firm up their talks for possible alliances and look at seat distribution. Close to 20+ seats are minority dominated and are not traditional votebanks for the BJP. The saffron party ally, Asom Gono Parishad (AGP), has already expressed its intent to go together for next year's polls. With the ties snapped with BPF in the BTC Polls, BJP also could look at smaller allies coming on board.The state unit has been advised, according to sources, to start the reach-out programme across the state. Prabharis are likely to travel as early as next week, while Jay Panda would start travelling from Upper Assam, Pawan Sharma from Barak valley.
Sources from those present in the meeting told us that Shah asked the state unit to do all the required administrative work like forming of teams committee, etc and draw up a concrete plan on strengthening of the organisation.
A 100% effort by everyone will make sure that BJP goes past the finishing line and reaches the target of winning 100+ seats, Shah is said to have told the core group.
Shah also told the state unit that along with party president JP Nadda, he would visit Assam in the second or third week of January for a detailed meeting on elections 2021.
Elections to the 126-member Assam Assembly is due next year. No party got majority in the last polls. While BJP has 60 MLAs in the Assam Assembly, and is the single-largest party, allies Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Bodoland People's Front (BPF) have 14 and 12 respectively. Sonowal government has been supported by some independent MLAs too.