Found this on FB – here. I’ve OCRd it (download PDF), and publishing here so I can read it.
I’m in touch with Prodyut who has created the Liberal Democratic Party in Assam. He is currently contemplating options to have a national liberal political party.
I’ve suggested to him that SBP is focused on the manifesto. Without detailed agreement on policy, it may be counterproductive to try to work together. I look forward to his inputs.
Btw, I note this resignation letter is focused largely on party issues. There is not much here on BJP’s public policy.
18 Feb 2015
Dear Shri Amit Shah ji
Namaskar! I am writing to let you know that I have decided to resign from the National Executive Committee as well as the primary membership of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), effective this day, Should you wish to know the reasons, here’s why:
- On the Periphery; Assam in the Mindspace of the National Leadership
It was with much hope and belief that the people of India gave a decisive mandate to the BJP under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modiji in the last Lok Sabha elections. After 10 dismal years under the Congress, people really bought into the idea of Acche Din Aa Rahe Hain. Today, after 9 months. I am wondering if Acche Din are really around the corner, specially for my native state of Assam. Let me give you three reasons why I say this:
- During the Lok Sabha elections Modi ji made waves by announcing that should BJP come to power, Bangladeshis (illegal migrants) have to pack their bags. Assam still wonders what happened to that announcement.
- For the last couple of years I have been fighting a PIL (No. 401 of 2012) in the Supreme Court on the Assam flood situation. In my petition it is mentioned that in the 84 years between 1912 and 1996, Assam lost 2358 sq km to erosion by the Brahmaptara. Now compare this to the total area of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (1484 sq km) and Mumbai city (603 sq kin), In other words, Brahmaputra has devoured land equal to four Mumbais. But is anybody in the Central Government even bothered? Each time there are floods in Assam, the Prime Minister or the Union Water Resource Minister would do an ‘aerial survey’ from a helicopter, get down to meet the waiting Press and announce a ‘relief & rehabilitation package’. Period! And from then, it would be till the next flood season. This charade has been going on for the last 50 years. Everybody loves a good flood; nobody wants a permanent solution to it. Shri Manmohan Singh ji, former PM and ‘permanent resident of Assam’, played this charade during his 10 years in office. Granted, Modiji has been in office only for 9 months, but is there likely to be a different response this April/May when the first flush of floods would hit the state?
- In December, the Commerce Ministry directed the scrapping of the North East Industrial and Investment Policy (NEIPP) 2007, without putting an alternate policy in its place. According to the industry body FINER (Federation of Industry & Commerce of North Eastern Region), almost Rs, 30,000 crores of prospective investment in the North East has been lost as a result of this move. Did the DONER Minister—responsible for the development of the Northeast—have a clue about this? Is this how the union government proposes to undertake its ‘Make in Northeast’ manufacturing programme?
- Individual vs Institution: Subversion of the Democratic Tradition in Government & Party
Unlike most developing Afro-Asian countries that got their independence in the late 1940s and early 1950s. India is one of the very few that have been able to nurture a democratic tradition. The Indian people have embraced democracy not just in form but also in spirit. In the ‘cabinet system’ that we have adopted, the Prime Minister is the ‘first among equals”, not the first among unequals. But, if my understanding is correct, hasn’t Modi ji damaged this democratic tradition? Today the Foreign Minister barely knows that the Foreign Secretary is about to get fired; Cabinet Ministers cannot even appoint their own OSDs (Officers on Special Duty) and power is increasingly being centralised in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). This makes me wonder: does the Cabinet System still exist in this country? I am mortified to see that no Cabinet Minister, no National Office Bearer, no Member of Parliament has demonstrated the courage to question Modi ji on the subversion of this fine democratic tradition.
When I attended the induction session after joining the Party in 2004, I was told that the operating tradition of the Party is “the President Presides, the Team Decides.–
Amit ji—have you ever cared to find out what your team thinks about you? Your highly individualised/ centralised style of decision-making has ensured that many party office bearers feel highly dis-empowered, Moreover, in any organisation, the style of the leader is quickly copied by those below him/her. What I am seeing in the Party—at least in my state—is the flowering of junior Amit Shahs, with a tenth of your capability and ten times your arrogance.
- Fifth Column: Political Corruption in BJP Assam Pradesh
Corruption comes in many forms. The most obvious is of course financial. But corruption can also be political: when you stay in one party and let yourself be controlled by individuals in another. My charge is: many MPs and MLAs in Assam are remote-controlled by the Congress. Else, how can you explain why:
- Shri Rajen Gohain has been MP 4-times from Nagaon, but practically no MLA gets elected from within the constituencies that form his Lok Sabha seat.
- Isn’t this the same case for Smt Bijoya Chpkrahorty, 3-times MP from Guwahati? How is it that she gets elected again and again, while no BP member within her parliamentary constituency gets to be MLA? Isn’t this pattern too much of a coincidence? Secondly, if you talk to Party old-timers in Guwahati, would they deny that she had a role in the defeat of BJP candidate, Bhupen Hazarika in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections? Thirdly, wasn’t she the Water Resource Minister in the Vajpayee Government for five straight years? Can you please tell me what did she do to solve Assarn’s flood problem?
- Would you care to consider why MLAs Shri Prasanta Phukan and Shri Ranjit Das were removed as Leader and Deputy Leader respectively or the BJP Legislature Party? Did it not have something to do with their voting record in the last Rajva Sabha elections? And yet, didn’t the Party shortlist Shri Ranjit Das for the State Presidentship in the last round?
I could go on, but let me summarise that I do not have any faith in the political integrity of many of our MPs and MLAs. And to think that the Party hopes to win the 2016 Vidhan Sabha elections [Sanjeev: yes, it did win] with these fifth-columnists at the helm. I feel sorry for the poor Party cadres in the frontlines who bear the violence of Congress goondas while their leaders at the top engage in machinations with rivals.
It is regretable that Congress politicians like Shri Himanta Biswa Sarma have more influence over the affairs of Assarn BJP than any of us ever had [Sanjeev: Biswa Sarma is now a BJP Minister of Assam]
- The Model BJP Karyakarta: Shri Himanta Biswa Sarma
I don’t know how far you are familiar with the chequered career and colourful life of former Assam Congress minister Shri Hirnanta Biswa Sarma, but here’s a small run-down for your benefit.
Shri Himanta Biswa Sarma was a student leader of the All Assam Students’s Union (AASU). During this time, he also became a money-collector for the outlawed ULFA (United Liberation Front of Asom). Caught by the police while on an extortion drive, he was rescued by Congress Chief Minister Shri Hiteswar Saikia who made him join his Party. Now this young man, who once shouted Khed, Khed, Bangladeshi Khed (Chase, Chase, Bangladeshi Chase), started parroting Chief Minister Saikia’s statement that there are no Bangladeshis (illegal migrants) in Assam.
This person is today the owner of a newspaper, 3 television channels, and countless benarni properties in Guwahali; possibly Assam’s richest politician. He has also been named in the Sharada scam and questioned by CBI.
During the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Shri Sarma had made an inflammatory speech in an election rally that it is not water, but the blood of Muslims that flow through the water pipes of Gujarat. In response, the then Party Prabhari for Assam, Shri SS Ahluwalia, announced in Guwahati that all pending cases would be opened against Shri Himanta Biswa Sarma. I wonder what has happened to Ahluwalia ji’s pronouncements?
Today, far from being prosecuted for the cases against him, I understand that you are considering inducting him into the BJP. I am flabbergasted. Wasn’t Shri Sarma the person former Assam Governor Gen SK Sinha was referring to when he said. “I don’t want to name, but everyone knows that a former ULFA person is a member of the Cabinet in Assam.
Please lot us know what great virtue do you see in Shri Himanta Biswa Sarma. apart from winning elections by hook or crook, that you are considering inducting him into the Party? Is he going to be BJP’s paradigm of a model Karyakarta? Or do the considerations of whining elections make you overlook a person’s antecedents completely?
- Curiouser & Curionser: The Unremarkable Choice of Siddhartha Bhattacharya
I would not comment on the current State BJP President apart from saying that there could not have been a more arrogant, ill-tempered and coarse-mouthed office-bearer in BJP Assam’s history. I urge you to have one-to-one sittings with each BJP Assam office hearer, and take your feedback on Shri Bhattacharya’s public pronouncements and behaviour. Talk to the civil society and intelligentsia, and see what they have to say about BJP Assam under his leadership.
Today all kinds of questionable characters are filing the leadership ranks of BJP Assam. Look at the Kisan Morcha. Two of its Vice Presidents were once ‘dreaded’ ULFA militants. The first is Kushal Duari (alias Jayanta Hazarika). Ask anybody in Sibsagar district about his reign of terror after surrendering from the ULFA and you would hear several ghastly tales. This Kushal Duari is profiled in the book Secret Killings of Assam, by Mrinal Talukdar, Utpal Borpajari and Kaushik Deka
Another Vice President of Assam BJP’s Kisan Morcha is Dhekial Phukan. popularly known as Dheki, He. was named in the murder ease of popular journalist Parag Das.
Do you suppose these veteran gunmen are going to be models for Assam’s farmers? What are they doing in Assam BJP’s Kisan Morcha?
I bid goodbye to BP with a heavy heart as I feel that it isn’t any more the Party that I joined a decade back. Having said that, I owe to it some fond memories and indelible experiences. On balance, it was a wonderful opportunity to serve. I am also honoured to have worked for—and alongside some very exceptional and wise leaders. I also wish to thanks my fellow Karyakartas for their unwavering love and support over the years,