Other States

Congress rebels stick to deadline on Gogoi

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CM made volte-face on resignation: Minister

A day ahead of the Saturday deadline set by Assam rebel Congress MLAs for party high command for replacing Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, dissident leader and Health and Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma stepped up the ante against Mr Gogoi alleging that delegations were being sent to Delhi to plead for the Chief Minister before the Central leaders.

The dissident Minister, however, said that such delegations carried no weight as they comprised of functionaries of development councils appointed by the Chief Minister and they lacked any constitutional validity while only MLAs had the constitutional power to elect a Chief Minister. The dissident party MLAs have been projecting Mr. Sarma as their leader to replace Mr Gogoi.

Dr Sarma accused Mr Gogoi of making a volte-face on the issue of resigning. He alleged that the Chief Minister had gone back on his offer to resign after the set back in the Lok Sabha polls. The Congress won only three Parliamentary seats in the State.

Mr. Gogoi loyalists claimed that party president Sonia Gandhi rejected the Chief Minister’s offer to quit and she had asked him to continue.

The dissident Minister justified setting a deadline to party high command and said that everyone wanted the problem to be expeditiously resolved.

Dr Sarma and other members of the dissident group met at the official residence of senior Congress MLA Sarat Barkataki to discuss the strategy to be adopted if the high command did not respond to the deadline.

Five rebel MLAs had on Thursday stated that they would announce their next course of action on Monday if the high command did not respond to their demand.

Meanwhile, Mr Gogoi said that there was no threat to his government and claimed that the State had been making progress on all fronts.

“Insurgency has been contained to a great extent. Assam is making progress on all fronts. There has been no flight of capital. The towns are flourishing.

All these indicate that there has been improvement on the law and order front,” said Mr Gogoi. The Chief Minister was, however, quick to add that there was scope for further improvement in the law-and-order situation.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 2:55:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/congress-rebels-stick-to-deadline-on-gogoi/article6228095.ece

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