India Today

CHOWKIDAR OF THE EAST

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No one has imbibed the lessons of the BJP’s 2019 ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ (I’m also a watchman) campaign better than Assam cabinet minister Pijush Hazarika. The most trusted lieutenant of Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Hazarika has emerged as the watchman of backdoor operations of the BJP in Assam in the past five years. When rebel Shiv Sena MLAs landed at Guwahati’s Radisson Blu hotel on June 22, Hazarika and his team kept a hawk eye on the people in and around the hotel, thwarting every infiltrati­on attempt by Sena emissaries. Hazarika is a past master at the task—he had kept watch over potentiall­y poachable MLAs during government formation in Manipur in 2017 and again in Meghalaya in 2018, when the BJP and allies did not have the required numbers. Now, the role comes naturally to him.

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