After emerging from the meeting with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Wednesday, APCC president Anjan Dutta chose to field the volley of questions from waiting scribes with the stock reply — ‘All is well’. Political observers in the State had attached much significance to this meeting, for the reason that Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and the APCC president were being brought face-to-face with Himanta Biswa Sarma after nearly a year in the presence of the Congress high command. Having led the three year long dissidence which brought the Congress government in Assam to near standstill, it was expected that Sarma would put up a forceful stand in this meeting. With speculations rife that the Congress in Assam is facing a split within 2-3 months with the BJP a possible gainer, all eyes were on Sarma — whether he would be vested with some important role to plan the party’s strategy and kick-start its campaign for the Assembly elections less than a year away. But nothing of much import seems to have transpired at the meet, apart from the routine exhortation by Rahul Gandhi to maintain party discipline and work unitedly. After Congress observer for Assam CP Joshi being reportedly told to present his views on the party’s interl situation at the outset and Gogoi, Dutta and Sarma responding with their assessments, the meeting is supposed to have gone along expected lines. Without divulging anything about Himanta Biswa Sarma being given any new responsibility, Chief Minister Gogoi merely told scribes that ‘it was a good meeting’ and ‘all MLAs are important’. With Gandhi taking a hardline on party discipline, the onus is squarely on APCC president Dutta to impose his authority. Having failed to do so ever since he took charge, Dutta’s discomfiture after the meeting was evident, his repeated one-line reply seeming to underlie that ‘All is not well’! As for Sarma, he revealed that the role of bureaucrats in taking forward the government’s agenda, had been discussed in the meeting. This is surprising, considering that the topic of some bureaucrats who could be working in favour of the BJP-RSS, reportedly figured more prominently in the meeting than the dissidence within Congress.
All Is Well!