The Indian National Congress is in troubled waters in two states out of the 12 in which it currently has chief ministers in place. In Maharashtra, senior Congress leader and the industries minister Narayan Rane submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Monday. Rane will continue to be a part of the party, but his resignation brings to forth the unhappiness that exists about the chief minister among the party members in the state. This comes at a time that the government has been facing trouble even with their ally NCP that is asking for more seats for this election.
On the other hand, the main rival of Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, health and education minister Hemanta Biswa Sarma quit along with 31 other MLAs. In Assam, the ministers wanted to register their absolute disregard of Gogoi as a chief minister whom they want to resign immediately.
Both the cases are blows to the Congress high command since the chief ministers have support from the top leaders of the party. Gogoi has been supported by Rahul Gandhi even this afternoon asking Gogoi to control his rebel ministers. AICC General Secretary Mohan Prakash had declared recently that Chavan would be retained as the chief minister in Maharashtra and the coming elections would be fought under his leadership. This again made it clear that Chavan enjoyed the confidence of the party high command. But this confidence looks rather misplaced after the events in the two states.
The Telegraph reported that more trouble could be in the offing for the party in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya as well, problems which could be fuelled if the situation in Assam worsens. In Manipur more than 20 Congress legislators have been asking for the resignation of the Chief Minister Okram Ibobi as they wanted a rejig of the ministerial berths. There are two groups of MLAs who are protesting. One consists of those who have never been ministers and want berths for themselves this time; and the other, a group of ex-ministers who want new berths because of their experience. The assembly members are not ready to listen to the chief minister and postpone their demands, unless a specific time frame is given to them within which their demands will be met.