Assembly polls in Assam are two years away, but a leadership battle is heating up in the state Congress unit.
Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP Pradyut Bordoloi was caught on camera telling Congress general secretary in charge of Assam, Harish Rawat, that “AICC is notorious for indecisiveness” and should act fast if it wants to contest the 2021 elections seriously.
The video of Bordoloi’s purported remarks started doing the rounds a day after 12 party MLAs wrote to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, demanding that Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Debabrata Saikia be replaced.
The developments come at the time when the party high command is said to be mulling a leadership change in Assam.
Former CM Tarun Gogoi has thrown his hat in the ring and was reported as saying that he is confident of reviving the Congress in Assam if he “takes the responsibility of APCC president”. Gogoi met Gandhi in Delhi earlier this week.
In the video, Bordoloi is purportedly heard telling Rawat, “The countdown has started… If the Congress wants to seriously take up 2021 elections…because AICC is notorious for indecisiveness. They don’t take decisions at all. That should not happen.”
The two were getting ready for a press meet in Guwahati on Wednesday and apparently did not realise television microphones were on.
“If you give the charge to someone after two-three months, nobody will be able to deliver. If you have to do something, do it now. Immediately. Because we have to create a narrative, mobilise resources, decide the strategy…ad hoc strategies won’t work now. We will have to do micro management,” Bordoloi is heard saying.
“I have told as much to Soniaji. I met her recently. I told her, ‘Madam aap jo decisions lete hain bohot der se lete hain’. If you have to take decisions, take it immediately. It is like a race course. Bet on one person on whom you have confidence. Faceless competition does not work nowadays,” he adds.
Another Congress functionary, who could not be identified, is seen arguing that people should have no doubt that the Congress will be able to form the government. Agreeing, Rawat is heard saying, “Logon ko lagna chahiye ki hum sarkar banana ke liye kaam kar rahe hain.”
When contacted, Bordoloi told The Indian Express that the conversation did happen. “My comments were specifically related to Assam. I am concerned only about Assam. A decision has to be taken at the earliest. That is what I have said,” he said.