NEW DELHI, July 11 - Former chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday called on Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi. This was his first meeting with the top Congress leaders after the defeat of the party in the Assembly elections in Assam.
Later talking to this newspaper, Gogoi said that he briefed the two leaders about reasons for the Congress party�s defeat in the polls. The Congress president and vice president quizzed Gogoi about the reasons for the party�s failure to forge an alliance with the AIUDF and the reasons for Himanta Biswa Sarma�s departure from the party.
The former chief minister said that he told the leaders that ant-incumbency was a major factor for the Congress party�s defeat. Further, propaganda by the BJP about an alliance between the Congress and AIUDF alienated a section of the voters.
The BJP launched a massive campaign in Assam and their alliance with smaller regional parties helped the party, Gogoi opined. The Congress got 31 per cent vote share, but won only 26 seats, while the BJP with 39 per cent vote share got 60 seats, Gogoi explained, adding that the Congress party�s vote share was commendable.
The BJP raked up emotional issues like granting citizenship to Hindu Bengalis, the foreigners issue and killing of rhinos, he said. �But now, they have backtracked,� he added. The BJP cannot solve the foreigners issue and they have failed to put an end to poaching of rhinos, Gogoi explained. Further, the BJP with the help of the RSS indulged in massive communalisation and created a wedge between the Hindus and Muslims, he contended.
Gogoi told the Gandhis that Himanta Biswa Sarma left the Congress on his own and his government has not forced him to quit. �We have not compelled him to resign, but he left the party. On the day he joined the BJP, he was scheduled to go on a tour to Silchar, he said. On AIUDF, he said that Badruddin Ajmal sought a lot of seats for his party because of which the Congress decided against forging an alliance with that party.
About the future course of action, Gogoi suggested that the party need to review its functioning and he assured all help to the new team.