Sushanta Roy is a journalist in the north eastern states of Assam and Meghalaya, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora, and the things that affect them.

Diphu October 3: With legislative elections creeping close, the two principal political parties, BJP and Congress have begun their maneuvers in both autonomous hill districts of Assam. As of now, the political scenarios in both places are almost identical; Congress defectors are mostly boosting the fortunes of BJP in the hills, and the extreme dynastic politics of Congress is serving the saffron party to cope with the situation.

As alleged by some senior district Congress leaders, in Karbi Anglong, a rift within Congress leadership has reached fever pitch. Massive polarization has taken place between members loyal to Biren Sing Engti and Khor Sing Engti.

Biren Sing Engti is the seated MP, the most senior leader of the party if compared in all Indian congress party echelons and Khor Sing Engti is the seated Howraghat MLA, and Gogoi ministry cabinet minister.

In between the split up, a faction of Congress workers have also aligned themselves with Bidya Sing Engleng, the Diphu MLA, who in spite of winning three times has been denied any place in the Gogoi ministry allegedly because of his antagonism with Khor Sing Engti and his closeness with Assam Congress heavyweight Bhubaneswar Kalita.

Klengdon Engti, son of Biren Sing Engti and seated Congress MLA of Bokajan is branded a total failure on all front, more by his own party men than the BJP. The BJP registered a clean victory over Congress in count of votes in the last Parliamentary election. Just a fortnight back, the MP and his son, the MLA had a trip around 10 Congress party strongholds within the constituency but as expected couldn’t garner the normal backing in any of the party rallies. More than a few elected MAC (member of autonomous council) desisted from campaigning with the father and son. The duo were effectively a complete flop.

It was alleged by senior party members allied with the Khor Sing Engti faction, the MP has been paid with his own coin by their leader who is facing a threat from the BJP on his home turf because with a clandestine understanding with the MP the BJP is projecting Mr. Longki Phangcho as its candidate from Howraghat. A former IAS officer and brother in law of the MP right now is penetrating with alarming speed in the traditional congress vote banks. Howraghat constituency is composed of a mosaic of Bodo, Bengali, Hindi speaking, Assamese, Dimasa and Karbi votes.

Looking back at the last Lok Sabha election, Congress just edged past BJP with a marginal difference but the party has strongly established its base among all ethnic communities now. The whole circumstance has jittered the robust leader Khor Sing Engti who expected another cake walk this time also.

Amid all the drag and draw within the party, the incumbent Chief Executive Member of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council Tuliram Ronghang appears prophetic akin to a towering monolith. The lone custodian of the party is working hard to balance all the split ends of the puzzle. In almost all public appearances small or big, Ronghang is upholding Congress party above all. He is the most effective and ardent voice of the party right now to which general people give a round of applause.

With Samarjit Haflongbar, the former MLA and CEM of Dima Hasao autonomous district joining the BJP, the numbers of elected MACs of Dima Hasao Autonomous Council both from ruling Congress and Indigenous Peoples Forum have confirmed their merger with BJP.

The expected expansion of BJP in the hills has taken place particularly after joining of Himenta Biswa Sharma in the saffron contingent feels politically conscious section of both the district who considers Sharma as the puppet master responsible for the swift change.