SILCHAR, March 13 - Ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections, the ruling Congress party and Bharatiya Janata Party seem to be sailing in the same boat. While BJP has named its list of candidates, all eyes are fixed on the Congress party. The run-up to the battle for ballots in Barak Valley is interestingly poised as both the political parties are facing factional infighting.
Internal strife among the Cachar district BJP party members came to the fore after the BJP high command announced its list of candidates. Disappointed with the party�s decision to field Thoiba Singh from Lakhipur constituency, well-known advocate and dedicated cadre of the saffron camp Sanjay Thakur has said that if the party does not revise its decision, he might contest as an Independent candidate.
�Having worked all these years for the party in Lakhipur, this was not the expected reward. People insist that I should contest on an Independent ticket. I will wait for the party to revise its decision and prefer myself or Reena Singh, vice president of the district, instead of Thoiba Singh.
If there is no response from the party, I shall have to respect what the people of Lakhipur want,� Sanjay said. His wish echoed across the constituency when a large section of BJP workers made it clear that they will not work for Thoiba Singh.
In a meeting at Chiripool, people of the constituency gave vent to their discontent saying that they will refrain from work until the party rethinks on its decision and withdraws Thoiba�s nomination.
On the other hand, Kaushik Rai, president of Cachar district BJP has said that he is aware of the rising dissent among the party members over nomination of candidates. Admitting the factional chaos, Rai, who is himself a candidate from Algapur constituency said that he will speak with the party high command and hoped that the tide will subside soon.
Again, even as the Congress party is yet to announce its list of candidates, some of the prominent names, including former MLA Bithika Dev, former DCC president Arun Dutta Majumder, Rajesh Dev, Kishore Bhattacharjee, general secretaries of the District Congress Committee, Sarifujjaman Laskar, national secretary of All India Youth Congress Committee, Daiyan Hussain Laskar and others are very much in the reckoning.
According to sources at the Congress office here, a list of candidates for 25 constituencies, including 15 from Barak Valley have been sent to the AICC for consideration. Interestingly, the former chairman of Silchar Municipal Board, Tamal Kanti Banik is also in the fray. According to party insiders, many ward committees do not want to see Bithika Dev, wife of former Union Minister Santosh Mohan Dev and mother of Silchar MP Susmita Dev to contest on Congress ticket and continue the legacy of �Dev regime�.
The committee members have forwarded their collective wish to the AICC to consider Banik as a candidate for the coveted Silchar Assembly seat.