NEW DELHI: Two important Congress ministers, Narayan Rane in Maharashtra and Hemant Biswa Sarma in Assam, on Monday quit the respective party governments. Both have been seeking to replace their Chief Ministers, Prithviraj Chavan and Tarun Gogoi, to little avail.
Both Rane and Biswa had quit earlier, but were persuaded to take back their resignation. This time, they noted, they will stick to their decision. In Assam, Education Minister Biswa Sarma said, “Absolute madness prevails, there is no direction under Gogoi (Assam CM). Thirty-eight MLAs came with me to Raj Bhavan, but it is my personal journey.”
Amidst these rebellions, minor and major, the top brass seemed more worried about Sarma’s move than Rane’s, without discounting that in Maharashtra the party was hardly in shape to face elections under Chavan’s stewardship.
Commenting on their move, a top Congress leader said, “We’re worried about the Maharashtra polls (not Rane’s resignation) and Biswa Sarma’s exit plan. None of the other rebels except Biswa Sarma are mass leaders. Rane could not even get his own son elected in the Lok Sabha. How will replacing him with Prithviraj (Chavan) help us?”
It is a known fact that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had come in the way of changing CMs in Maharashtra, Assam and Haryana. In Assam, the bloodletting was not limited to a Gogoi-vs-Biswa Sarma tussle. As many as 38 MLAs have followed latter’s footsteps and sent in their resignations.
There’s no denying trouble in the Tarun Gogoi’s government, once the poster-boy among Congress CMs, started after the two fell out. Biswa Sarma did not take kindly to Gogoi projecting his son, Gaurav, now a Lok Sabha MP, as his successor.