Disgruntled MLA Shiladitya Dev not resigning from BJP: Senior BJP leaders

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Guwahati, Mar 12 (PTI) BJP leaders Himanta Biswa Sarma and Dilip Saikia on Friday said Hojai MLA Shiladitya Dev, who had threatened to quit the party miffed over being denied a ticket for the Assam assembly elections, will continue to remain in the saffron party as an 'important member'.

After meeting the disgruntled legislator at his residence, North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma and BJP National General Secretary Dilip Saikia said, 'Dev has always been in the BJP and will continue to remain in the party as an important member.' 'Dev is a party old timer who has worked very hard for many years and has been actively involved in taking the BJP to the position where it has reached now in the state', the NEDA convenor said, in the presence of Dev, at a press conference in Hojai.

Dev will actively campaign for BJP candidates, including the party's Hojai nominee Ramakrishna Ghosh, the minister said.

Saikia said, after the elections are over and 'our government assumes office again, Dev will be definitely appointed to an important post by the new government'.

Soon after BJP's Hojai candidate was announced on Wednesday, Dev had posted on his Facebook page, 'Finally, I have been kicked out of BJP.' The MLA had announced at a press conference on the same day that he was 'leaving the party and will start a new journey.' He had alleged that a conspiracy was going on against him within the party for four years and he was 'politically murdered' because he was 'pro-Hindutva'.

In July last year, Dev had announced to quit the party alleging neglect and groupism by the leaders, but later did not resign.

Sarma said that Dev has been vocal about the problems of the Bengali-speaking community, including detention camps, and 'the party has no difference of opinion on these issues and we will together take care to ensure that the party's ideal of nationalism is followed'.

Another senior BJP leader and former deputy speaker of the assembly Dilip Paul had also announced that he would quit the party after he was denied ticket from Silchar but the NEDA convenor said that he will also remain in the BJP and campaign for other candidates.

The BJP has not given tickets to 13 sitting MLAs as 'the party has a national policy where a chance is given to different people while the others work whole-heartedly in ensuring their victory', Sarma added.

The BJP has announced the names of 74 candidates for the 86 constituencies where polling will be held in the first two phases on March 27 and April one.

BJP minister Sum Ronghang was denied ticket from Diphu (ST) seat and he joined the Congress which gave him a nomination from the same constituency.

The BJP is contesting the forthcoming assembly polls in alliance with the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the United People's Party Liberal (UPPL).

Elections to the 126-member Assam assembly will be held in three phases on March 27, April one and April six. PTI DG MM MM