NEW DELHI, Nov 16 � The process of appointment of a new Pradesh Congress Committee chief in Assam has run into rough weather following opposition to senior leader Anjan Dutta�s name by a section of leaders in the State Congress.
The All India Congress Committee (AICC), which is busy preparing for celebrations to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, has now kept the matter pending, while seeking nominations of at least three names each from a select group of senior leaders in the State.
Sources confided that Dutta, who had been shortlisted for the post, is now facing opposition from a section of senior leaders in the party.
APCC president Bhubaneswar Kalita is reported to be unhappy with the choice and has made his reservations known to the AICC as well. He has instead suggested Bhupen Bora�s name for the post of the PCC president.
The Speaker of the Assam Assembly, Pranab Gogoi, who has meanwhile called on Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi separately, also expressed his opposition to Dutta�s name being proposed for the top post.
Sources said that Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who has not spoken against Dutta, has his own
favourites for the post. He has reportedly suggested the names of State Power Minister Pradyut Bordoloi and Ranee Narah, in that order, for the top post.
If senior leaders in the party are to be believed, Gogoi�s backing of Bordoloi may change the calculations.
But what has reportedly surprised the AICC is that the Chief Minister, after initially sitting tight, has revealed his cards quite late in the day. On the other hand, Bhubaneswar Kalita�s choice is also being seriously looked into.
Bhupen Bora, an AICC secretary, happens to be a Kalita loyalist.
Anjan Dutta headed the list of names forwarded to the AICC High Command by the party general secretary in charge of Assam, Dr CP Joshi, and he appeared almost certain to be appointed for the post, sources said.
Last week, Rahul Gandhi had separately met a select group of senior State leaders and requested them to suggest three names each for the post of the APCC chief.
A former Lok Sabha MP and Union Minister, who too was asked for his choice of names on Thursday last, has since submitted a list. He confided that the AICC got confused after some leaders expressed their opposition.
�But I was told by Gandhi that a name would be selected shortly and announced,� said the former MP, adding that a few other leaders were also asked for their choice of names.
The Chief Minister, meanwhile, landed in the capital to take part in the two-day conclave organised to mark Nehru�s birth anniversary. The issue of appointment of the APCC president and clearance of his list of names shortlisted for the reshuffle of his Council of Ministry is unlikely to figure in the next two days, as all AICC leaders, including the president and the vice president, would be busy with the celebrations.
A host of foreign leaders, including former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai, is expected to take part in the celebrations being held at Vigyan Bhavan on Monday.
Thereafter, the Chief Minister would take part in the plenary session of the North Eastern Council (NEC) on November 19 before heading back to Assam.