August 15 holds special significance in former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta’s life. On this day he had signed the famous Assam Accord with Rajiv Gandhi in 1985 amidst high hopes. The accord and his subsequent meteoric rise to power had elevated Mahanta almost to a demi-god status in the eyes of the people in Assam. Sixteen years later, August 15 has turned out to be the most difficult day in his life. This was the day Sadin—a widely circulated language weekly tabloid—dropped a bombshell in the guise of a
tell-it-all interview with Sanghamitra Bharali, an assistant language officer in the Assam assembly secretariat, who claimed that she had married Mahanta in a secret ceremony in Mumbai.