NEW DELHI, June 29 - Following the demise of Assam Congress president Anjan Dutta, the race has begun among Congressmen to grab the post, even as the AICC high command has shortlisted Rajya Sabha MP Ripun Bora as the next PCC chief.
Amidst hectic politicking for the post, former Union Minister Paban Singh Ghatowar today called on Congress president Sonia Gandhi and briefed her on the prevailing political scenario in the State. Ghatowar�s name is incidentally among the panel of names suggested by the PCC for appointment as the State Congress president.
Talking to this newspaper, Ghatowar said that the subject of appointment of the PCC president did not figure during his discussion with Gandhi. He said that he had briefed her on the reasons for Congress� defeat in the State Assembly polls.
AICC sources, meanwhile, said that Ripun Bora�s appointment as the next PCC president is almost certain. This, however, has led to sharp reactions among the partymen in the State.
Sources said that a recent meeting of senior party leaders proposed five names for the post of PCC chief. The names included that of Ghatowar and Sarat Borkotoki, among others. The leaders also maintained that Bora should not be given a permanent post. These leaders are also upset with former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi for endorsing Bora�s appointment. They are of the view that Bora�s appointment would offer the BJP ample opportunity to target him because of the CBI case against him. It may be mentioned here that Bora was arrested by the CBI when he was the State Education Minister. Though the court later exonerated him, the party leaders feel that he is still vulnerable to attacks by the BJP.
When asked, an AICC leader said that the meeting in Assam was an informal gathering, though it was attended by CLP leader Debabrata Saikia. Sources said that Bora�s appointment was endorsed by the high command though he did not rule out a rethink given the sharp reaction in Assam Congress.