Himanta Biswa Sarma banned from doing any campaign for 48 hours

Assam, April 2: The Election Commission on Friday banned Assam minister and senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma from doing any campaign for the next 48 hours for openly threatening to send Hagrama Mohilary – whose BPF (Bodoland People’s Front) is a member of the Congress-led opposition alliance – to jail by misusing the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Assam is scheduled to hold the third and final phase of the 2021 Assembly election on April 6, and the 48-hour ban means Sarma, who is the BJP’s troubleshooter in the northeast and the main poll strategist as it bids to retain power in the state, Himanta Biswa Sarma can no longer campaign for his party.

On Thursday the Election Commission issued a show-cause notice to Sarma and referred to a speech on March 28, during which he said: “… ‘If Hagrama Mohilary does extremism… he will go to jail. This is a straight talk… Already got a lot of evidence. This case is being given to NIA (National Investigation Agency). The recovery of arms at Kokrajhar in a car, that case is being given to NIA. Nobody will be allowed to do unrest in Bodoland Territorial Region, even if he is Hagrama…

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Mohilary was once an ally of the BJP but switched to the Congress after the BJP joined hands with the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) to form Bodoland Territorial Council in December.

The election to the 126-member Assam Assembly has been spread over three phases with 77.2 per cent of the electorate exercising their franchise in 39 constituencies in the second phase on April 1. In the first phase on March 27 around 76 per cent of voters in 30 constituencies cast their vote.