Congress chief Sonia Gandhi today “outrightly” rejected the resignation offered by Assam Chief Minister Tarun following the party’s debacle in the state in Lok Sabha polls.
“The Congress President out rightly rejected the Chief Minister’s offer of resignation,” State Agriculture Minister Nilomani Sen Deka said after a meeting with Gogoi.
Gogoi, who met Sonia and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, did not speak to journalists and was closeted with more than a dozen of his supporters, mostly state ministers, MLAs and two former Union Ministers, at his residence.
Senior MLA Anjan Dutta said the Congress President has authorised Gogoi to revamp the party organisation in the state and as the first step he will reshuffle his ministry after June 1 when Gogoi will complete three years in office in his third term.
Dutta said that during Gogoi’s meeting with Rahul, the Congress vice-president too put complete faith in Gogoi’s leadership in Assam. Former Union Minister B K Handique, who lost in the Lok Sabha polls in Jorhat, said Gogoi would continue as Chief Minister and lead the party in the state.
After Congress got its lowest ever tally in Assam – 3 out of 14 Lok Sabha seats — in the recent Lok Sabha elections, 78-year-old Gogoi had said on Saturday last that he would resign within a week. Gogoi has been Chief Minister of Assam since 2001.
During the day, Gogoi met Congress treasurer Motilal Vohra and Congress general secretary in-charge of Assam C P Joshi. The Chief Minister has already admitted to “arrogance and complacency” but said he would not leave politics and would continue to work for the party’s recovery. Congress in Assam has been plagued by factionalism and dissidence with state Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma leading the anti-Gogoi campaign.