NEW DELHI, May 1 � State Health and Education Minister, Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma sought to put an end to the week-long factional fight in the State Congress by clarifying that he has briefed Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi about his meeting with Congress president, Sonia Gandhi.
Making a quiet exit from the IGI Airport this afternoon, Dr Sarma drove down straight to his south Delhi residence without even waiting for the State Protocol officials. Contrary to expectations, none of his supporters including 11 MLAs, who were camping in the capital since Sunday evening, went to receive him, reportedly on instructions from Dr Sarma.
However, the Minister later arrived in Assam Bhavan and closeted himself with his supporters after a brief interaction with the waiting media.
Dr Sarma though strove to dispel the notion of a confrontation with the Chief Minister by clarifying that he was among the first to declare on the floor of the Assembly that Gogoi would continue for the full term.
Commenting on his meeting with the party president, Dr Sarma said it would not be proper to publicly disclose what transpired at the meeting. �But the Chief Minister knows why I met the Congress president and what was discussed,� he said.
When asked about the delegation of Congressmen camping in the capital, the State Minister first said he was unaware about it. �Somebody told me that some MLAs were coming to receive me but I advised them not to do so. There is no question of receiving me. I came from the airport, there was nobody to receive me,� he announced.
Arguing that MLAs and Congress workers were free to come to the capital and there was no order from the party to the legislators not to visit Delhi. How could there be a controversy over this? he asked.
He said if the party does not want it then a circular should be issued and no MLAs would come to Delhi after that.
Blaming the media for the raging controversy, he said he was among the first to declare that Gogoi would continue till 2016, if possible till 2020. �I made this statement on the floor of the Assembly, in the aftermath of the Chief Minister�s visit to Bangladesh that triggered the controversy over the land transfer deal.