GUWAHATI, Oct 30 - With elections to urban local bodies (ULBs) of Assam scheduled to take place early next year, a large segment of State BJP leaders and cadres want the ruling party to go solo rather than having seat-sharing arrangement with the other NDA constituents.
�A huge majority of our cadres across the State as well as a substantial segment of our supporters want the party to contest the ULB elections on its own. They are against any alliance or tie-up with other parties, including our partners in the NDA, in the municipal polls,� a senior State BJP office-bearer told The Assam Tribune.
He added, �Many of us in the State unit believe that the party leadership should respect the wishes and sentiments of our cadres and hardcore supporters. After all, the style of functioning of a cadre-based party like the BJP is very different from that of other organizations.�
It is noteworthy that the NDA constituents � BJP, AGP and BPF � had contested the 2016 Assam Assembly polls jointly and all three parties are sharing power in the Sarbananda Sonowal-led government. However, the NDA partners had contested last year�s panchayat polls on their own.
Many State BJP leaders also believe that local polls offer the best chance to activate the cadres and strengthen the organizational base of the party at the grassroot-level.
�In the party meetings and other events during the recent months our cadres have clearly stated that we should not go for any alliance in the municipal elections. Our supporters tell us that they want the BJP to run the administration at all tiers, whether nationally or at the State-level or at the local-level. If we do not respect their wishes it could hurt our electoral prospects in the times to come,� said the senior party office-bearer.
He said that State office-bearers, who support the idea of going solo, will try to convince the Central leadership of the saffron party on the wisdom of contesting the forthcoming ULB elections on its own.
�We should try to take control of the local administrative structure everywhere if the party is serious about properly implementing the social welfare measures and other policies of the government. Besides, local-level alliances are not easy to forge. It is not like having tie-up for Assembly or Parliamentary elections where the number of seats is fewer. The party leadership should also remember that our allies have not managed to do very well in polls in recent times. In the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP emerged victorious in nine out of the ten constituencies of Assam where it had fielded its own candidates, while our allies lost in all the four seats of their share,� said the leader.
Meanwhile, BJP�s organizational polls are proceeding across the State and are expected to conclude by early December.
�The organizational elections have been completed at the booth-level. In the next phase, we have now started elections at the mandals and then they will be held at the district level, followed by formation of a new State committee of the party in December,� sources in the ruling party said.