BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, February 14: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's 'hollow' promises and Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Anjan Dutta's conceit cannot keep the leaking Congress boat floating for long in the State's politically troubled waters, say party insiders.
Comments made by Gogoi and Dutta before and after the civic elections have generated resentment not only in the party rank and file, but also among the public. The results of this year’s civic polls declared on Thursday, have clearly shown the downslide of the ruling party while the saffron surge in the State continues ubated. The increased vote share of the BJP in this civic elections also reflects people’s greater confidence in the party.
Before the civic elections, the Chief Minister announced that if the Congress secured a majority, he will allot Rs 1,000 crore for the civic bodies in the State. But after the party’s debacle in the polls, Gogoi made an about-turn, pleading helplessness in providing the promised fincial package. Trying to put the ball in the Modi government’s court, Gogoi said that it is the responsibility of the BJP minister (read Sarbanda Sonowal) from Assam to mage the funds.
However, APCC president Anjan Dutta has outdone the Chief Minister in making such bombastic statements. Before the results of the civic elections, Dutta stated that the State government will give funds to civic bodies, which will be won by the Congress and not the BJP.
Party insiders now rue that the arrogance shown by Dutta as well as an undemocratic comment he made, has contributed a lot to the party’s rout in the civic polls. But instead of accepting the public verdict humbly and working on its shortcomings, Congress bigwigs are preferring to stick to their adamant attitude, which in turn is leading the party to the point of no return.
A senior APCC leader said, “In such testing times, there is no place for arrogance in the party. Our top leaders must go to the doorsteps of common people, trying to understand their grievances. Gogoi and Dutta should refrain from giving lectures and concentrate on the overall development of the State. Look at the political upheaval in Delhi, in which both Congress and BJP were made to bite the dust by a fledgling political party like the AAP. The same thing might be repeated in Assam in the 2016 Assembly polls,” adding, “If the Chief Minister backtracks on his promises often, people will not be able to repose faith in him.”
A district level Congress president said, “Anjan Dutta’s statement on fund allocation for civic bodies is undemocratic. Who will listen to our opinion?”
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who once said the results of the civic polls cannot be considered as a referendum on the party’s performance, should now realize what the civic poll results really portend about his party’s fortunes. Another member of the party said, “Now, our main focus should be on organizing the party from the grassroots. Otherwise, chances are that many more will leave the party to join the BJP or other parties.”