NEW DELHI, May 22 � Highly placed All India Congress Committee (AICC) sources told The Assam Tribune that Congress president Sonia Gandhi has kept pending a final decision on the resignation offer of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi accepting moral responsibilities for the party�s debacle in the recently held Lok Sabha polls in the State.
The AICC is, meanwhile, mulling the idea of sending a team of observers to the State, after the meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting to be held on May 24. The observer team will be tasked to interact with the rebel MLAs and gauge the actual situation.
The Gogoi camp has, meanwhile, claimed that the Chief Minister has been given a free hand to tackle the situation and the Chief Minister is likely to affect a Cabinet reshuffle soon after June 1, when his government completes three years in office of his third term.
The Chief Minister had two back-to-back crucial meetings � with AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi and Congress president Sonia Gandhi this afternoon.
According to sources in Gogoi�s camp, the Chief Minister gave a detailed briefing to both the leaders regarding the activities of the disgruntled MLAs. Following this, the Congress president asked Gogoi to submit a detailed report. Meanwhile, he has been asked to continue and carry on with the third anniversary celebrations.
Asked about the mechanism worked out by the AICC to tackle the crisis, a senior member of the Chief Minister�s camp, Anjan Dutta told newsmen that the Chief Minister has been authorised to carry out a reshuffle of his Council of Ministers after June 1.
The Chief Minister first had a meeting with AICC general secretary in-charge, Dr CP Joshi and briefed his of the issue. Thereafter he was asked to meet general secretary Motilal Vohra, who asked him not to push ahead with his resignation as it is bound to have a national ramification. As for dissidence, he was assured that AICC would stand behind him, the sources added.
The Chief Minister then rushed to Congress president�s political adviser Ahmed Patel�s house where another meeting was held, in which Dr CP Joshi was also present. At the meeting the Chief Minister was asked to meet Rahul Gandhi before meeting the Congress president, sources confided.
The meeting with Rahul Gandhi, which has reportedly lasted over 40 minutes, saw the Chief Minister brief him in details about the reasons behind his decision to quit. The Chief Minister had yesterday told this newspaper that he was hurt by the statements and activities of the dissident group and his only option was a graceful exit.
Meanwhile, even as he was sitting with Rahul Gandhi, a message came from 10 Jan Path asking him to proceed directly to meet Sonia Gandhi.
At the meeting with Gandhi, Gogoi submitted his papers but he was told that it would not be accepted and that he was free to act in any manner he wished to handle the political situation, said sources.
Thereafter, the Chief Minister came back to his Teenmurti Lane house, where his loyalists awaited him. They included State ministers Rockibul Hussain, Nilomoni Sen Deka, Anjan Dutta, Debabrata Saikia, among others. Former Union Minister Bijoy Handique, Ranee Narah, his media advisor Bharat Narah, Etuwa Munda among others also joined them.
Meanwhile, PCC president Bhubaneswar Kalita arrived in the National Capital this afternoon. The AICC is now likely to hold wider consultations with him and seek a report from him about the latest political developments in the State.