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Gogoi to quit if Cong falters

Guwahati, Dec. 14: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi today said he would resign from his post if the Congress fails to do well in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in the state.

“The Congress has the target of grabbing 10 of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in the next year’s polls. In case the party even fails to retain the existing seven seats, I will resign from the post of chief minister immediately,” Gogoi told reporters here this afternoon.

Gogoi’s statement has come at a time when the Congress high command is in a self-introspective mood after the party’s humiliating defeat in the Assembly elections in four states.

The Opposition parties, particularly the BJP, are saying the Congress will meet the same fate in the 2014 elections in Assam.

Even some senior Congress leaders in the state, including Speaker Pranab Gogoi, recently said the party should learn a lesson from its defeat in Delhi to ensure it does not meet the same fate in Assam.

Reiterating that the “much-hyped” election magic of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi would not click in Assam, unlike in other parts of the country, Gogoi said his party would contest next year’s polls with its report card of work and achievements in the state in the last 12 years.

The chief minister also said he has not invited the All India United Democratic Front to forge an alliance with the Congress for the next year’s polls.

He rather alleged that the AIUDF had a “secret understanding” with the BJP in the last Assembly polls. He suspected that such an understanding may continue for the 2014 polls. “Otherwise why is the BJP not criticising AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal? All the BJP leaders criticise me at the drop of their hats,” Gogoi said. The AIUDF had emerged as the leading Opposition party in the 2011 Assembly polls in Assam by winning 18 of the 126 seats.

Gogoi said the Congress’s fight in the next year’s polls would be against the BJP and AIUDF.

He, however, said he would follow the Congress high command’s orders if it instructed him to go for an alliance with AIUDF.

Gogoi evaded a direct reply on the issue of fielding his son Gaurav Gogoi as the Congress candidate from Kaliabor constituency in 2014. Tarun Gogoi himself won the Kaliabor seat thrice in the past and his brother Dip Gogoi is holding the seat for the second term.

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