GUWAHATI, June 2 � In an attempt at defusing the crisis in the Assam Congress Legislature Party (ACLP), Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today held a series of meetings in his official residence before leaving for New Delhi to meet the party high command.
Gogoi held talks with senior legislator Sarat Barkataky this morning, followed by a meeting with Health and Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. Coming out of the meeting with Gogoi, Sarma told The Assam Tribune that the topic of discussion was the party�s debacle in the Lok Sabha polls. He said that he gave his views on the reasons for the poor show of the party in the polls. He clarified that they did not discuss reshuffle of the Ministry.
Sarma said he had also requested the Chief Minister to examine whether any case against him was pending before any court or police station of the State. �If there is any case pending against me, the same should be taken to its logical conclusion or else the Chief Minister should clarify the matter through a press statement to prevent some persons from blackmailing me on the issue,� he added.
It may be mentioned here that Congress president Sonia Gandhi has formed a three-member committee headed by Gulam Navi Azad to hold talks with the supporters of Gogoi and the dissidents. The committee already held talks with members of both factions and directed them not to go to the media while efforts are on to defuse the crisis. Both the factions are now hopeful that the party high command would take a decision acceptable to all.
Sources close to the Chief Minister said that the party high command would not allow Gogoi to leave the post at this moment. They said that Gogoi may also seek permission from the party high command to reshuffle his Ministry as several senior members of his Cabinet have already offered to step down to pave the way for a reshuffle of the Ministry.
On the other hand, the dissidents said that none of the dissidents is gunning for ministerial berths and the main concern of the legislators is the slide in the popular base of the Congress. The legislators feel that if the performance of the Government does not improve, a number of them would not be able to win in 2016 Assembly polls.
It may be mentioned that the dissident activities in the ruling party have not gone down very well with the general public. The constant bickerings and publicly airing of views both by the dissident group and the Gogoi loyalist have created a negative perception against the Congress. This, many believe, reflected in the party�s poor show in the recent Lok Sabha polls.