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Gogoi, dissidents heading for showdown


GUWAHATI, May 20 � Trouble is brewing in the ruling Congress in Assam after the debacle in the recent Lok Sabha polls as the loyalists of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and the dissidents are heading for a showdown. While, the Gogoi loyalists are demanding action against those involved in �indiscipline�, the dissidents are sharpening their knives demanding ouster of the Chief Minister.

Loyalists of the Chief Minister told The Assam Tribune that the Congress high command is unlikely to accept Gogoi�s offer to step down owning moral responsibility for the debacle of the party in the Lok Sabha polls. They revealed that at least seven Ministers, who are known to be close to Gogoi, may offer to resign immediately after the Chief Minister�s return from New Delhi so that he can reshuffle his cabinet. Several Ministers also advised Gogoi that he should take strict action against the Congress men involved in indiscipline. It may be mentioned here that Gogoi left for New Delhi today to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi and he is likely to give an offer to step down.

Meanwhile, the dissidents are adamant on change of leadership and they are holding series of meetings to formulate strategies and they are demanding a special meeting of the Assam Congress Legislature Party (ACLP). The dissidents met in Dispur this evening to finalize strategies.

Sources in the dissidence camp told The Assam Tribune that they would be forced to take drastic steps if the special ACLP meeting is not convened by the Chief Minister. They said that most of the legislators are scared following the election debacle as the Congress candidates lost in 70 Assembly segments and the dissidents are of the view that more than the wave in favour of Narendra Modi, the misrule of the Chief Minister was responsible for the debacle.

Sources said that there have been large scale erosion of the vote banks of the Congress and the dissident MLAs are apprehensive that if the present situation continues, they would find it tough to face the election in 2016. �Even before the BJP nominated Narendra Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate, we submitted a memorandum to the party high command expressing apprehension that because of the misrule of the Chief Minister, the seats of the Congress might come down to three or four. But the High Command did not change the leader and now the Congress had to face the debacle,� dissident sources said.

Along with the Chief Minister, the dissidents are also targeting four Cabinet Ministers, who are known to be close to the Chief Minister.

At this moment, the dissidents are not thinking of breaking the party but they warned that they would be forced to take drastic steps if necessary.

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