The BJP's Himanta Biswa Sarma today poked fun at the Congress as it grapples with the crisis over Rahul Gandhi's continuation as the party chief. Having Mr Gandhi at the helm would be good for the BJP, said Mr Sarma. But it would not be good for democracy, which needs a vibrant opposition in order to survive, he added.
The Congress - after its shock defeat to the BJP in the national elections -- has been trying to get Rahul Gandhi to reconsider his decision to step down. But despite pleading by multiple leaders, Rahul Gandhi has refused to change his mind.
Throwing the party into a further quandary, he has asked that his mother Sonia Gandhi and sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra not be considered as his replacement.
"If Rahul Gandhi continues, there is no hope for opposition. From the BJP perspective, we will be happy if Rahul Gandhi continues for next 50 years," said the leader, who joined the BJP in 2015 after a 14-year stint with the Congress.
"But for all democracy, you need a vibrant opposition and as long as Rahul Gandhi is the face of the Congress and opposition, that is not going to happen. If there is no Rahul Gandhi, then there is a possibility that in the days to come, we might see an emerging vibrant opposition," added the 50-year-old, who, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said, is "more important for the northeast than Amit Shah".
Himanta Biswa Sarma had crafted the BJP's strategy for the northeast that helped the party establish its control over all seven states.
In Assam, the BJP led alliance in Assam had taken a clear edge over the opposition Congress and hopes to win the two Rajya Sabha seats that are being vacated in June. One of these belong to former prime minister Manmohan Singh.
Bharatiya Janata Party's Kamakhya Prasad Tasa and Asom Gana Parishad's Birendra Prasad Baishya filed their nominations for the ensuing Rajya Sabha elections slated for June 7 next in Guwahati on Tuesday as candidate of the BJP-led alliance.
It is very likely that the candidates of the alliance will be declared winners on both seats after 3 pm on May 31, the last date for filing of nomination. The Congress is unlikely to field any candidate this time as it does not have the numbers to ensure victory.