Congress high command to decide on Assam: Kharge

Guwahati : Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge Tuesday said the Congress high command will take a decision over the dissidence in Assam, and asked all state party members to remain united till then.

Kharge met various party leaders here Monday and Tuesday. He was accompanied by party leader Ashish Kulkarni during his two-day visit.

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The Congress, which has been in power in Assam since 2001, has been a divided house since the last two years. While some leaders want Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to continue, others have been demanding a change of guard.

The dissidence has grown after the party’s poor show in the Lok Sabha polls.

The dissident faction recently visited New Delhi to meet party chief Sonia Gandhi seeking her intervention in replacing Gogoi.

They said the party could do well in the 2016 assembly polls only under the leadership of a young leader.

“We met all leaders – MLAs, office bearers, district and block committee leaders – since yesterday (Monday). I also met Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today (Tuesday),” Kharge said, adding that he would submit a report to the party high command soon.

“After my submission of the report, the party high command will take the final decision. However, all Congress leaders here have agreed to abide by the high command’s decision. They also assured to work united till the 2016 assembly polls and strengthen the party,” he said.

Party sources, however, said no decision on the leadership issue is expected before July 6, when Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to meet Gogoi, state party president Bhubaneswar Kalita and all the newly-elected Lok Sabha members from the state.

Gogoi, who has been avoiding the issue since the last few days, only said that Kharge spoke to all party leaders in the state and that they agreed to accept the decision of the high command.