The Congress continues to face a crisis as, closely following on the heels of Narayan Rane's resignation in Maharashtra, Assam leader Himanta Biswa Sarma also quit the party on Monday. And the state's health and education minister is not alone as 31 MLAs have quit along with him. Himanta Biswa tweeted, "I have decided not to compromise with my conscience any more."
I have decided not to compromise with my conscience any more.
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) July 21, 2014
The MLAs have made it clear showing that they have no confidence in the leadership of chief minister Tarun Gogoi. On July 18, the ministers had given an ultimatum that if a decision on Gogoi was not taken by July 19, they would take their own course of action. But Gogoi had said he would not quit.
For many, Himanta would be the probable chief minister candidate from the state if Gogoi resigns. The ministers have been unhappy with the performance of the Congress in the Lok Sabha elections in April and blamed Gogoi for it. It will be another blow to Rahul Gandhi as he had been supporting Gogoi and even asking him to keep the rebel ministers under control. The rift between 46-year-old Sarma and 78-year-old Gogoi surfaced after the chief minister's son Gaurav plunged into politics in 2012.
Recently, the Congress leadership had sent senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge to the state to gauge the mood of party legislators and Pradesh Congress leaders. The rebels demanded that the leadership should immediately resolve the issues which they had placed before him. They claimed that they have the support of 55 of the 77 legislators.