The impact of the drubbing that it received in the 2014 general election is showing on the Congress in Assam, which is heading towards a crisis. More than half of the party's MLAs in the state are seeking a change of leadership.
The party, which has been ruling Assam since 2001, won just three of the 14 Parliamentary seats in the state, largely because of rebel within the ranks. The BJP, on the other hand, won seven seats. Post the election, the rebellion has reached new heights.
"We (45 Congress MLAs of the 78 in the state) met to discuss the causes of our party's defeat in the polls and subsequently, resolved to send a letter to Sonia Gandhi to give her a picture of the situation and suggest corrective measures," the state's health and education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is allegedly leading the dissident camp, told journalists.
The letter, dubbed as 'memorandum', was prepared after a signature campaign. The legislators had met over 'dinner' on Tuesday night to felicitate Sushmita Dev, the newly-elected party MP from Silchar.
Sarma said they did not discuss the issue of leadership as chief minister Tarun Gogoi himself had offered to resign taking moral responsibility of the defeat.
Gogoi is expected to meet Sonia on Thursday to tender his resignation. But Assam's rebel party legislators, which include at least four ministers, feel that the high command will not accept Gogoi's resignation, if indeed tendered, in view of the Congress' nationwide poll debacle. This is why they are using the signature campaign to mount pressure on Sonia to sack Gogoi.
Meanwhile, ministers loyal to Gogoi, left for the national capital on Wednesday to thwart the rebels' designs. They insisted the ministers should resign en masse to allow Gogoi to form a new government.