Despite Congress president Sonia Gandhi rejecting Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's resignation on Thursday and asking him to continue in office, 46 disgruntled MLAs have decided to meet the Governor on Friday to apprise him about their opposition to Gogoi's leadership.
Former minister and senior Congress leader Sarat Borkatoky told reporters, "46 legislators will go together to apprise Governor JB Patnaik about the situation. We have got an appointment with the Governor at 5 PM on Friday." After a meeting of the disgruntled Congress legislators in his official MLA residence here, Borkatoky said they would meet at 11 AM on Friday to discuss on what to tell the Governor.
"Our resolution was that we have no faith in Gogoi's leadership. But when high command has gone against it, we have no option but to go to the Governor," he asserted.
"If we have to remain in the electoral politics, then we have to have change in the leadership. We have also asked for a Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting to be called where we will say we have no faith in Gogoi's leadership", Borkotoky added.
Minister Siddique Ahmed said, "We have prepared a document stating our position".
Education Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, considered to be leading the dissident camp, told reporters after tonight's meeting, "C P Joshi (Congress leader in-charge of Assam) told me from Delhi that our high command has not taken any decision yet on Gogoi's resignation, but will do so shortly".
"Joshi also said a Congress central observer will be sent to Guwahati soon and take the opinion of each MLA on change of leadership in the government. In the interest of Congress he asked me to urge the MLAs to wait for Sonia Gandhi's decision", Sarma said.
To a query, he said, "I will not go to the Governor tomorrow as I am a minister. To go to the Governor I have to first resign from my ministership."
Asked if the Gogoi government was likely to fall if the 46 MLAs go to the Governor tomorrow, Sarma said, "We cannot allow a situation where the MLAs go to meet the Governor. Even if 16 MLAs withdraw their support then the government will not continue."
Congress has 78 MLAs in the 126-member Assam Assembly.
On Tuesday, 45 of the 78 Congress MLAs considered to be from the dissident MLAs camp opposing Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's leadership, had resolved to send a letter to Sonia Gandhi on the party's debacle in the Lok Sabha elections in Assam.
Gogoi on the day of the poll results on May 16, after his party was reduced from seven to three seats, had announced he would submit his resignation to Sonia owing moral responsibility for the debacle.
Prominent MLAs in the dissident camp include former chief minister Bhumidhar Barman, ministers Himanta Biswa Sarma, Gautam Roy, Ardhendu Dey, Siddique Ahmed, former ministers Sarat Borkotoky, Gautam Bora, MLAs Abdul Muhib Majumdar, Rumi Nath, Jayanta Malla Barua, Rekibuddin Ahmed, Hemanta Talukdar.