NEW DELHI, Sept 20 - The AICC is in the process of charting out a new course to take on the Sonowal-led BJP government in the State and one of the options being looked at is change of the PCC president.
A senior AICC leader disclosed that change of president is on the cards but that may not happen immediately. The party may wait for the Assembly by-polls to be over before making its next move.
On the other hand, PCC president Ripun Bora, sensing trouble, has redoubled his efforts to boost the party at the grass-root level, the party has noted.
Sources said that a panel of five names, including AICC general secretary Bhupen Bora, Lok Sabha MP Pradyut Bordoloi, CLP leader Debobrata Saikia, Lok Sabha MP Gaurav Gogoi and former Union minister Paban Singh Ghatowar has been drawn up. But the choice is going to be tough due to various pulls and pressures within the party.
It may be added here that the party was upset over the exodus of leaders, including Rajya Sabha MPs Bhubaneswar Kalita and Sanjay Sinh to the BJP, said sources. There was also a fiasco over the National Register of Citizens issue when senior leaders spoke in different languages until Congress president Sonia Gandhi stepped in and warned leaders of Assam Congress to speak in one voice.
According to AICC grapevine, Bhupen Bora is being backed by the Rahul Gandhi�s camp, while AICC general secretary Ahmed Patel favours Bordoloi.
Debobrata Saikia enjoys the confidence of former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. The choice of former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, whose opinion would be crucial, is not known.
Meanwhile, hordes of Congress workers from Assam have started landing in the National Capital to lobby for their leaders. A delegation led by former Rajya Sabha MP Dwijen Sarma is already in the capital and is trying to get an appointment with the Congress president. Another group, led by a prominent MLA belonging to the tea community, is reportedly landing here soon to push for the candidature of Debobrata Saikia, said sources.
Amidst all these development, AICC general secretary in-charge for Assam Harish Rawat is in legal trouble with the CBI. A sting operation by a local channel in Uttarakhand, when he was the Chief Minister, has led the High Court to order a CBI probe against him. The Central agency has since filed its report to the Uttarakhand High Court and the matter is coming up for hearing on Saturday.
Meanwhile, even as the Congress is trying to put its house in order in Assam, there may be trouble of sorts brewing in Assam BJP, as several party stalwarts have thrown their hat in the ring for a Rajya Sabha berth.
At least two seats �vacated by Sanjay Sinh and Bhubaneswar Kalita � are due for election and the expectation is that the Election Commission may announce the by-polls along with Maharashtra, Delhi and Haryana Assembly elections.
Several BJP leaders have been touring the National Capital meeting senior central leaders. Those in the fray include former Railway Minister Rajen Gohain, former Lok Sabha MP Ramen Deka, besides Sinh and Kalita, among others.
An aspirant requesting anonymity told this Correspondent that they have urged the Central leadership to shift Sanjay Sinh to UP as his re-nomination will send a wrong message in Assam. Further, they have also opposed Bhubaneswar Kalita�s candidature arguing that he is new to the party and hence should spend some time in organisational work.
Kalita had left the Congress by resigning from his Rajya Sabha seat hours before the crucial voting on Triple Talak Bill. He later quit from the party, as well.
Gohain and Deka are both founder members of the BJP and hence carry some clout and are known to be close to the RSS.