GUWAHATI: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday said Congress strongman and former minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who on Sunday made public his decision to join the BJP, had been his “blue-eyed boy” and the most trusted lieutenant.
“He was my blue-eyed boy and I helped him like anything. The Congress leaders in Delhi used to tell me that he is your blue-eyed boy. I gave him weightage by ignoring many senior Congress leaders. I trusted him so much that I used to blindly approve the files put forward by his department. I don’t know how he became unhappy with me,” Gogoi told reporters here.
“In fact, the day before yesterday (Sunday), he spoke to Congress president (Sonia Gandhi). Till the other day, he was with us, though, we kept receiving news of his possible defection to the BJP. So, I am not shocked by his decision. It would have saddened me had it happened all of a sudden,” the Chief Minister added.
According to Gogoi, the Congress wanted Himanta to stay back saying the party had utilised his services till the Tiwa Autonomous Council elections last week.
Asked if his relationship with Himanta, who had earlier made an abortive bid to unseat him, were strained owing to his son and Lok Sabha MP Gaurav’s emergence as a possible candidate for the Chief Ministerial post after the 2016 Assembly polls, Gogoi said, “Gaurav can’t become the Chief Minister if he wants”.
Gogoi said a committed Congressman would never cross over to a party like the “communal” BJP.
“Some people don’t have any ideology. We’ve been with the Congress in both its good and bad days. The Congress ideology is of secularism and socialism while the BJP ideology is of Hindutva. Everyone knows that they are pro-capitalist,” he said. The Chief Minister, meanwhile, was confident that the Congress would do well in the Assembly elections, due early next year.
“The Tiwa Autonomous Council election results are a clear indication that we are doing well. The results were also indicative of the fact that the popularity of the BJP plummeted drastically within a year or so,” Gogoi added.