Assam is in a state of flux—two monsoonal floods when the Covid pandemic is scything through the land that votes a new government next year. The state’s political machinery is on an overdrive, much like the medics working overtime to contain the contagion. Then it all happens: a corruption scandal that threatens to blow up on the ruling BJP. It’s about the written examination on September 20 for 597 posts of unarmed sub-inspectors in Assam Police, the question paper for which leaked. The test was cancelled and more than 30 people were arrested, including BJP leader Diban Deka and retired DIG P.K. Dutta, who was on the run and was caught somewhere near the India-Nepal border.
The Opposition seized the opportunity to corner the BJP, ask chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal to step down. For his part, Sonowal called the question paper leak a “scam”, though his party’s position has been to refer to it as an “anomaly”. He defended his administration, saying no government has acted so fast and transparently to investigate a scam in a state that has recorded several question paper leaks since 1952. Diban Deka was expelled from the party.