Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma inadvertently calling Amit Shah “Prime Minister” at a public event in the state has given the opposition Congress ammo to target the ruling party.
A senior BJP leader said it was a slip of tongue, but that hasn’t stopped the Congress from sharing the clip and raising questions like whether the ruling party has picked its “next Prime Minister”.
BJP spokesperson Rupam Goswami rubbished the Congress’s swipe as coming from a party that has no real issues left to fight.
“Congress has completely lost base in Assam and has no real issues to politically fight the BJP, so it is trying to flag a non-issue. This was an inadvertent slip of tongue and can happen with anyone,” Rupam Goswami told NDTV on phone.
Mr Sarma, speaking in Assamese, welcomed “Prime Minister Amit Shah” and “Home Minister Narendra Modi” – an obvious mix-up – as he addressed a crowd of hundreds sitting under a large tent.
The Assam Congress in a post on its official Facebook page alluded to Mr Sarma calling Amit Shah “Prime Minister” as a deliberate act, and drew parallels with an Assam MP who used to call Mr Sarma “Chief Minister” when Sarbananda Sonowal was the Chief Minister. At that time Mr Sarma was a minister in the Assam government.
Mr Sarma became Chief Minister eventually after the BJP won the Assam elections again.
“When Sri Sarbananda Sonowal Ji was the Chief Minister of Assam, Tezpur MP Sri Pallab Lochan Das had on several occasions referred to Cabinet Minister Sri Himanta Biswa Sarma Ji as the Chief Minister of Assam in public! Is the incumbent CM doing a Das? Has BJP decided on its next PM?” the Congress said in its Facebook post.
When @sarbanandsonwal Ji was the CM, MP @pallablochandas on several occasions referred to cabinet minister @himantabiswa ji as the CM in public!
Has #BJP decided its next @PMOIndia replacing @narendramodi Ji?
Or a campaign has been launched to promote @AmitShah ji as the PM? pic.twitter.com/BgqgbbajXC
— Assam Congress (@INCAssam) May 10, 2022
“Or a campaign has been launched to promote Amit Shah Ji as the PM replacing Narendra Modi Ji? Going by Das’ example, it doesn’t appear to be a slip of tongue?” the Assam Congress said on the Facebook post.