The Telegraph
Thursday , June 5 , 2014
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All eyes on CM’s future moves

Guwahati, June 4: Both the warring Congress Legislature Party (CLP) camps are keenly looking forward to the steps embattled Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi is likely to initiate to resolve the intense intra-party power struggle on his return here tomorrow after talks with the AICC top brass in Delhi.

Though Gogoi has remained tightlipped for over 15 days on the crisis gripping him and his government, the AICC has dropped enough hints about an amicable and time-bound solution to the crisis as far as possible.

The reaction of AICC secretary and sitting Assam MLA Bhupen Kumar Borah, a man seen to be close to party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, to the CLP issue suggested as much.

“The demand of our grassroots workers and leaders is that we should remain united in this moment of crisis and show a united face,” Borah told The Telegraph.

However, Gogoi’s task seems to be cut out as members of the Himanta Biswa Sarma camp, including parliamentary secretary Chandan Sarkar and minister of state Siddique Ahmed, while looking forward to an early resolution of the crisis, also did not forget to mention that they enjoy the support of around 52 of the 77 party MLAs in the 126-member state Assembly.

Another member from the Sarma camp said the AICC had yesterday asked Gogoi to resolve the crisis within seven days or else convene a CLP meet to know the minds of the party legislators most of whom are said to be with cabinet minister Sarma who is leading the campaign to unseat Gogoi around two years now in “greater interest” of the party.

The direct or indirect assertion of the Sarma camp on its number suggest that it will bargain hard with Gogoi.

“The advantage clearly lies with the Sarma camp. It remains to be seen how much Gogoi can accommodate without being seen as compromising too much to hold on to its position,” a party insider said.

Gogoi had offered his resignation — owning moral responsibility for the party’s poor show in the Lok Sabha polls — to the party top brass which wanted him to continue but by taking everyone along with him.

Gogoi, a staunch loyalist of the Gandhi family, is also said to have made it clear to party bosses that he would like a free hand to run the government.

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