After Madhya Pradesh, Congress seems to be imploding in Assam - Tarun Gogoi's pro-Muslim tilt set to split Congress
Debabrata Saikia has apparently told his associates that if Tarun Gogoi imposes his ways, he would even tender resignation from the post of the leader of opposition in the state assembly.
New Delhi/Guwahati: Not drawing any political lesson is becoming a trademark with the Congress. Just as the grand old party has lost power in Madhya Pradesh, in northeastern state of Assam there is serious internal bickerings after party veteran Tarun Gogoi has indulged in hobnobbing with the pro-Muslim All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) of Badruddin Ajmal.
Congress and AIUDF recently had a political tie up for the Rajya Sabha election from the state when they jointly backed the candidature of journalist Ajit Bhuyan. Congress legislature party leader Debabrata Saikia has disapproved the move to inch closer to Ajmal, whom once upon a time even former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had kept at distance and even gave a cryptic quote: "who is Ajmal?"
The chances of Tarun Gogoi working for an alliance with AIUDF for next year's assembly polls have upset many Congress leaders in Assam. It is in this context, Debabrata Saikia has said no final decision has been by party's central leadership for such an alliance. Mr Saikia apparently told his associates that if things go too far and Tarun Gogoi imposes his ways, he would even tender resignation from the post of the leader of opposition in the state assembly.
Son of former Chief Minister Hiteshwar Saikia, a longtime rival of Tarun Gogoi, Debabrata Saikia was elected to the Assam Legislative Assembly in 2011 from Nazira constituency and he again retained the seat in 2016.
BJP has already started working on to break Congress. Senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that Congress legislator from Lakhipur, Rajdeep Goala, could quit Congress anytime. Reportedly, ten Congress MLAs have shot off a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and cautioned that going pro-Muslim blatantly and that also in conjunction with AIUDF will result in polarisation of Hindu voters and ultimately help the BJP.
They pointed out that out of 126 seats only 40-42 seats are Muslim dominated and thus any alliance with AIUDF will be 'suicidal' for the Congress. A 'hot button issue' on the entire episode is Tarun Gogoi trying to befriend Badruddin Ajmal in public glare.
“Tarun Gogoi’s photo with Badruddin Ajmal has given a very wrong signal to Hindu voters," one Congress leader has said in Guwahati. "Befriending Ajmal's party will not only take away all Hindu voters towards BJP and its allies like BPF but the native indigenous tribal people will also move away from Congress," he went onto caution.
Assam Congress leaders are in touch with Congress leader Harish Rawat to ensure that no major damage is done to the Congress party even before the battle has actually begun.