No Lok Sabha ticket for Himanta Biswa Sarma, BJP asks him to focus on entire north-east

New Delhi: BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma was refused Lok Sabha election ticket as the party’s plan to form partnerships in the north-east didn’t succeed, prompting the leadership to engage him on party duties, a source said.

The party leadership wanted Sarma to focus on all 25 seats in the northeast rather than just one seat in which he wanted to contest.

BJP chief Amit Shah said on Wednesday that Sarma’s name was chosen by the Assam Election Committee, but the party asked him to play the role of the North East Democratic Alliance’s (NEDA) chairperson. Sharma had accepted the party’s decision.

“I think the party has given us the responsibility to get the maximum number of seats from north-east, we have 25 seats and we are sure of getting 19-20 seats and we would work towards it,” Sarma said.

Assam BJP president Ranjeet Dass said the party had decided to give the candidature to Himanta. “He also showed interest. But later when the panel of names was sent to central election committee, they told us that he is the convener of the NEDA, so he has to look after all the 25 seats in the northeast,” Dass said.

NEDA is an anti-Congress political alliance of the BJP with the regional parties of the northeast. It’s headed by Himanta Biswa Sarma.