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Vohra to lead AICC team


NEW DELHI, May 23 � The AICC today made an all-out effort to defuse the political crisis in Assam by nominating party treasurer Motilal Vohra to lead a team of observers to the State to talk to the rebels.

Meanwhile, AICC general secretary in-charge for Assam Dr CP Joshi was summoned by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to take stock of the current situation, while PCC president Bhubaneswar Kalita was advised to stand by for a meeting with Gandhi.

Talking to this newspaper, Kalita, who was asked to return to Delhi, said that he is meeting Dr Joshi later this evening. �I have already met the Chief Minister last evening and am going to meet him again on Saturday,� he added.

As for his meeting with Gandhi, he said it is likely to take place either later this evening or on Saturday. �As the crisis mainly involves the CLP, there is not much the PCC can do. But even then, the PCC is ready to help in resolving the crisis,� he said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi�s camp today started the process of consolidating their position and asked all their ministers and MLAs to rush to Delhi. �Yes, we have requested our ministers and MLAs to come to Delhi,� Anjan Dutta told this newspaper.

Those who were expected to arrive in Delhi included State Ministers Pradyut Bordoloi, Ajanta Neog, Pranati Phukan, besides senior leaders like Bhimananda Tanti, RL Pegu and Rafiqul Islam, among others.

For the second day today, the Chief Minister kept away from the media but held hectic consultations with his loyalists at his Teenmurty Lane House.

Sources said that his loyalists have advised him to start contacting some of the ministers and MLAs in the rebel camp and he has spoken to a few of them. Reluctance of some of the MLAs to take the battle to a point of no return also prompted some to open dialogue with some of Gogoi loyalists.

Sources in Gogoi�s camp confirmed that some of the �rebel� MLAs have established contact with them and urged them to amicably resolve the issue.

Meanwhile, Dr Joshi held a meeting with a group of Gogoi loyalists, including Ripun Bora, Anjan Dutta, Debabrata Saikia, Bismita Gogoi and Rajya Sabha MP Nazneen Faroque among others at his Ashoka Road House this afternoon.

Sources said that Dr Joshi asked them why Gogoi opted to submit his resignation thereby precipitating the crisis. He also conveyed that the Chief Minister�s resignation has been kept pending but advised them that the Chief Minister should hold consultations with all concerned.

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