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Resignation due to personal ambition: AICC

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, July 21 � The AICC today dismissed dissident leader Himanta Biswa Sarma�s resignation as an outcome of his personal ambition to become the Chief Minister of Assam.

Briefing newsmen, AICC spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said, �It was an issue of personal ambition and of denial of post. The ambition is to be the Chief Minister. Those issues of personal ambition and need for the post of Chief Minister cannot be accommodated within the constitutional contours of the Congress party. Therefore, this has to be dealt with,� Singhvi said, hinting at the possibility of the AICC initiating disciplinary actions.

�He has resigned from his post. He does not appear to have resigned from the Congress party,� the spokesman said, adding that his stand has been clear.

�Not once, but on several occasions, he has mentioned that he wants to become the Chief Minister. The party will not weaken because of this,� Singhvi added, replying to questions.

Reacting to the developments in Assam, AICC general secretary CP Joshi, on the plea that he was unaware of the latest developments in the State, described them as �unfortunate.�

Senior AICC leader Kamal Nath, who was once the general secretary in-charge for Assam, said, �The revolt was not against Rahul Gandhi though some MLAs have rebelled.� He claimed that Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi enjoyed the support of the majority of legislators.

Meanwhile, AICC sources, referring to the rebellion in Assam, blamed Himanta Biswa Sarma for the mess in the State. �You cannot change a Chief Minister of a State by putting a gun on the head. He wanted to become the Chief Minister by August 2, which is totally unacceptable.�

The party was willing to listen to his grievances sympathetically and hence appointed so many high-powered committees to look into the issues troubling them, the sources argued.

Conceding that Himanta Biswa Sarma is a mass leader, the sources said that he had issued a statement about 15 days back, reposing confidence in the AICC. But he cannot put a deadline and Tarun Gogoi is no pushover who could be asked to quit just like that, said the sources.

Indicating that the AICC is hoping for the best and preparing for the worst, the sources added that the AICC is exploring the option of initiating disciplinary actions against the rebels. �One advantage we have in Assam is that we have time in hand, while in Maharashtra, we do not have the time.� Reiterating that the AICC was sympathetic to Himanta Biswa Sarma, the sources said that something could have been worked out if only he had shown some patience.

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