Begin typing your search above and press return to search.

Cong in a fix over candidate selection Himanta factor

By KALYAN BAROOAH

NEW DELHI, Oct 11 - Ahead of the Assam Assembly elections, the Congress seems to be in a dilemma over selecting candidates who appear close to State Minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma.

The recent decision to expel MLA Rajdeep Gowala and former MLA Rumi Nath for six years was part of a decision by the Congress in this regard. The AICC had also stated that Congress president Sonia Gandhi approved the proposal of Gowala�s expulsion.

AICC sources said the party has taken note of Sarma�s public claim that he will march 100 BJP MLAs to Raj Bhavan after the Assembly polls.

This claim has been taken rather seriously by a section of leaders who had worked with Sarma when he was in the Congress.

Sources said that the Congress reckons that if the ruling BJP does not have the numbers, Sarma may well target MLAs from the Congress who are close to him and may somehow achieve the magic number of 100.

When asked how could Sarma divide a party without violating the provisions of the anti-defection law, a source pointed out the case of Manipur where despite having the numbers, the Congress failed to form the government. �We don�t take his (Sarma�s) threats lightly and do not want to pack the party with MLAs close to him,� said the Congress source.

The sources said that there have been reports of a section of Congress aspirants networking with Sarma and reportedly seeking tickets for the 2021 Assam Assembly polls.

At a recent closed-door meeting of the Congress, the issue was discussed at length and a decision was taken to deny tickets to those believed to be close to Sarma and whose loyalty was suspected, the sources disclosed.

Declining to name the Congress aspirants who are in the firing line, the sources indicated these ticket-seekers are likely to be vetted more closely this time. �So far, we have identified two lady aspirants who had contested in the last Assembly polls but lost.�

What has become a headache for the Congress is that two top leaders have also been identified as close to Sarma. The sources, however, clarified that nothing has been finalised yet except the fact that a couple of aspirants have been broadly identified and a final call would be taken at a later stage.

During then Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi�s regime in 2015, Sarma had taken along with him a large group of MLAs and Congress members to the BJP after threatening that he had the support of 50 Congress MLAs. Eventually, he took with him about 10-12 MLAs, leaving the Congress high and dry.

Meanwhile, on the troubles plaguing Ripun Bora, the sources said they were closely monitoring a case going on in the Gauhati High Court which is linked with the State Congress president. �As of now, there is no cause for alarm but developments in the high court may have a bearing on his future,� they said.

The Gauhati High Court has fixed October 20 as the date for hearing a petition filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) challenging the order of the Court of District and Sessions Judge that had discharged Bora in the Daniel Toppo murder case.

The sources said that luck seems to be in Bora�s favour, as there is hardly any time left for a change of leadership but the Congress is not going to take any chance with the CBI. Bora also has purportedly informed the AICC that there is no evidence against him in the murder case.

Recommended Stories
Next Story
Similar Posts
Cong in a fix over candidate selection Himanta factor

NEW DELHI, Oct 11 - Ahead of the Assam Assembly elections, the Congress seems to be in a dilemma over selecting candidates who appear close to State Minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma.

The recent decision to expel MLA Rajdeep Gowala and former MLA Rumi Nath for six years was part of a decision by the Congress in this regard. The AICC had also stated that Congress president Sonia Gandhi approved the proposal of Gowala�s expulsion.

AICC sources said the party has taken note of Sarma�s public claim that he will march 100 BJP MLAs to Raj Bhavan after the Assembly polls.

This claim has been taken rather seriously by a section of leaders who had worked with Sarma when he was in the Congress.

Sources said that the Congress reckons that if the ruling BJP does not have the numbers, Sarma may well target MLAs from the Congress who are close to him and may somehow achieve the magic number of 100.

When asked how could Sarma divide a party without violating the provisions of the anti-defection law, a source pointed out the case of Manipur where despite having the numbers, the Congress failed to form the government. �We don�t take his (Sarma�s) threats lightly and do not want to pack the party with MLAs close to him,� said the Congress source.

The sources said that there have been reports of a section of Congress aspirants networking with Sarma and reportedly seeking tickets for the 2021 Assam Assembly polls.

At a recent closed-door meeting of the Congress, the issue was discussed at length and a decision was taken to deny tickets to those believed to be close to Sarma and whose loyalty was suspected, the sources disclosed.

Declining to name the Congress aspirants who are in the firing line, the sources indicated these ticket-seekers are likely to be vetted more closely this time. �So far, we have identified two lady aspirants who had contested in the last Assembly polls but lost.�

What has become a headache for the Congress is that two top leaders have also been identified as close to Sarma. The sources, however, clarified that nothing has been finalised yet except the fact that a couple of aspirants have been broadly identified and a final call would be taken at a later stage.

During then Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi�s regime in 2015, Sarma had taken along with him a large group of MLAs and Congress members to the BJP after threatening that he had the support of 50 Congress MLAs. Eventually, he took with him about 10-12 MLAs, leaving the Congress high and dry.

Meanwhile, on the troubles plaguing Ripun Bora, the sources said they were closely monitoring a case going on in the Gauhati High Court which is linked with the State Congress president. �As of now, there is no cause for alarm but developments in the high court may have a bearing on his future,� they said.

The Gauhati High Court has fixed October 20 as the date for hearing a petition filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) challenging the order of the Court of District and Sessions Judge that had discharged Bora in the Daniel Toppo murder case.

The sources said that luck seems to be in Bora�s favour, as there is hardly any time left for a change of leadership but the Congress is not going to take any chance with the CBI. Bora also has purportedly informed the AICC that there is no evidence against him in the murder case.

Recommended Stories
Similar Posts