| Rana Goswami |
Jorhat, July 21: AICC secretary Rana Goswami, an MLA from Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi’s home district Jorhat, declined to comment on the crisis in the Congress Legislature Party, but said the decision on leadership would be taken by the party high command.
Goswami, who distanced himself from the high political drama that unfolded in Dispur, today kept busy in his constituency (Jorhat) by taking stock of the ongoing development programmes and organised public meetings.
Interacting with reporters this afternoon while visiting the site of reconstruction of the bridge on the Bhogdoi river at AT Road here, Goswami said he was a “loyal partyman”. He was visiting different areas of his constituency for the past five days to review development projects .
Downplaying the issue of power tussle in Dispur, Goswami said he was not interested in it and as a true Congressman he would abide by whatever decision the high command takes on the issue of chief ministership. He said as an AICC office-bearer he could not openly take sides on the leadership issue.
Goswami said after the Congress setback in the Lok Sabha elections in Assam and the political scenario of the state, he had submitted a report to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in the first week of June and had also held discussions with him on the matter.
Goswami said following the high command’s directive — after the debacle in the Lok Sabha polls — to the Congress rank and file to concentrate more at the grassroots and regain the trust of the people, he was following the same. The Assembly polls are slated for early 2016.
“After returning here (Jorhat) from Uttar Pradesh — where I had gone for party reorganisation work assigned to me — I am meeting people, addressing public and party meetings, and inspecting sites of work,” he said.
On the finishing touches being given to the reconstructed Bhogdoi bridge, Goswami said the bridge would be a milestone in Jorhat’s development. The delay in completion of the bridge had drawn sharp criticism from all quarters. Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had ridiculed Gogoi at an election rally in Sivasagar for not being able to complete the bridge in four years after laying the foundation stone.
While Goswami has tried to maintain a distance, Bhupen Kumar Borah, the other AICC secretary and sitting MLA from the state, had issued an appeal on Saturday to the dissidents in the CLP not to stick to their Monday deadline for the party high command to take a decision on the leadership issue in Assam.
Soon after Borah issued the appeal, senior MLA Sarat Borkataky distanced himself from the ultimatum while the next day another senior MLA Chandan Sarkar did the same. It all pointing to a crack in the dissident camp over the issue of defying the high command.
Borah had made the appeal because the AICC had invited Borkataky for talks on the CLP issue on Monday. Though Borkataky could not go to Delhi today on health grounds, two other senior MLAs Abdul Muhib Mazumder and Bidya Singh Engleng went, sources in the dissident camp said.
The sources said the AICC had been keeping a close watch on developments in Assam and had directly and indirectly made it clear that Gogoi would continue till they found a replacement.
Rupjyoti Kurmi who represents Mariani constituency, adjoining Titabar constituency represented by Tarun Gogoi, reportedly belongs to the anti-Gogoi camp.