In less than four months of joining active politics, Paramananda Rajbongshi, the ex-president of Asom Sahitya Sabha, has emerged as a ‘dark horse’ of Assam’s political theatre.

Rajbongshi, who retired as the president of Asom Sahitya Sabha in February last year, had joined the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) on November 10, with the dream to contest the Assembly election from Kalaigaon constituency in Udalguri district.

But, Rajbongshi’s dream was shattered on Friday evening when the BJP announced the list of candidates for 70 constituencies, and the Kalaigaon constituency was not given to AGP, a coalition partner of the NDA.

The BJP had named Madhuram Deka as the party’s candidate for the Kalaigaon constituency.

Also read: Assam elections: Ex-Asom Sahitya Sabha president Paramananda Rajbongshi joins BJP, to contest from Sipajhar

Within hours of announcement of BJP’s list of candidates, Rajbongshi resigned from AGP, and joined the BJP on Saturday afternoon in Guwahati.

And, immediately joining the BJP, Rajbongshi ‘managed’ to get the saffron party’s ticket in Sipajhar constituency in Darrang district.

Announcement of Rajbongshi’s candidature at Sipajhar constituency has come as a surprise for everyone as the sitting BJP MLA, Binanda Kumar Saikia, has been a close confidant of chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

While political analysts are still trying to assess the reasons for BJP dumping Binanda Kumar Saikia at Sipajhar, and fielding Rajbongshi at the eleventh hour, it is evident that the former Asom Sahitya Sabha president has a ‘God-father’ in the saffron party.

Apparently, Rajbongshi has been maintaining close relationship with Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is one of the key persons for finalizing BJP’s list of candidates for the Assam Assembly election.

Interestingly, the AGP has also not issued any statement on Rajbongshi’s sudden decision to resign from the party, and joining the BJP to secure a ticket from Sipajhar constituency.

As BJP is always known to field candidates with strong political regimentation, Paramananda Rajbongshi’s candidature at the eleventh hour has come as a big surprise to everyone.

In the past, Rajbongshi had earned the dubious distinction of ‘politicking’ in Asom Sahitya Sabha, the largest literary organisation of Assam, which promotes Assamese literature.

In 2017, former presidents of Asom Sahitya Sabha, including Kanak Sen Deka, Lakhsminandan Bora and Nagen Saikia had demanded removal of Paramananda Rajbongshi from the post of secretary of the organization.

The former presidents of the organization had alleged that Rajbongshi has been treating Asom Sahitya sabha as his personal property.

Rajbongshi was elected general secretary for two terms, became vice-president of Asom Sahitya Sabha, and had again ‘managed’ to get himself elected as general secretary.

Without much of a literary background, Paramananda Rajbongshi, had later managed to be the president of Asom Sahitya Sabha.

And, now, in less than four months of joining active politics, Paramananda Rajbongshi resigned from AGP, and joined the BJP, and managed to get a party ticket immediately.

Whether he wins or loses the election as a BJP candidate from Sipajhar, it is obvious that Rajbongshi will continue with his spiteful game of politicking, and will disturb the bonhomie within the saffron party.

Anirban Roy

Anirban Roy is Editor-in-Chief of Northeast Now. He can be reached at: editor@nenow.in