GUWAHATI: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who has declared that the current assembly elections as his last, will decide whether to continue in office after two years if he is elected again.
"After two years, I will take a decision on how I will continue in the party. I will decide if I will remain as a CM for the next five years or not, " he said asserting that he will win a fourth consecutive term.
Accordingly, I will take my next step," Gogoi told PTI in an interview.
The 80-year old politician had already announced that this Assembly election will be his last participation in electoral democracy.
"I will not fight the next election. Congress has to fight without me," he said.
Gogoi, however, did not specify whom the party or he is nurturing to take the baton from his hand.
"We do not nurture anyone. Many leaders are there after me. Leaders emerge out of masses," he added.
Asked for a few names, the Chief Minister said "there are many capable leaders -- Anjan Dutta, Paban Singh Ghatowar, Bhubaneswar Kalita, Ripun Bora, Pradyut Bordoloi and Rakibul Hussain. Probably, my successor will be from these leaders."
Though he did not elaborate, Gogoi appreciated the way former West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu had handed over the post to his trusted Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee in the middle of a term so that the latter could prepare the ground.
Asked about his long innings in politics, the senior Congress leader said "politics has changed over the years. Earlier, there was commitment among people, now it is not there. Even the society has changed. Earlier people used to talk in confidence. Now, nobody talks anything in confidence.
"Dissidence was there earlier also but nobody joined other parties," he said.
Gogoi started his electoral politics in 1968 by becoming a member of Jorhat Municipal Board in Assam and assumed the Office of Chief Minister in May, 2001 to form the Congress government which is ruling the state for three consecutive terms since then.
Talking about his chance of forming the government again this time, Gogoi said "we have received very good response from people during our campaigning. We are confident of forming the government with absolute majority.
"BJP is saying people want change and they are the change. In Lok Sabha polls, (Narendra) Modi came to Assam and said he was the change and would bring achche din (good days). It has become a big joke. Has the achche din come? Have the people got the basic amenities like houses, drinking water, food, health and clothes?" Gogoi said.
He said Assamese people "took the right decision" after seeing how much Modi has done for the state as they are politically conscious and mature.
"They (BJP) are talking about alternative and change. Do they have the capacity for the same? Except Sarbananda (Sonowal), all leaders are old in state politics. Prafulla Mahanta, Himanta Biswa Sarma -- all have been in politics for a long time.
"BJP's most of the leaders had come from AASU and AGP background. The state BJP is an extended AGP team. They have pasted a new label. It is like old wine in a new bottle. We all know how AGP was in governance. It was the worst. The economy, law and order, job-generation, insurgency and secret killings were at its worst," he added.
When pointed out that polling percentage was huge in Assam and it may be because of anti-incumbency factor, Gogoi said that "in 2011 also, there was huge voting and it was more than that of 2006. We won more seats than 2006.