Betrayal has become a part of my long life in politics: Gogoi
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, August 24: Exuding a sense of betrayal at former Congress minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma's decision to join BJP, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said that the rebel Congress legislator was once his 'blue-eyed boy', for whom he had even taken on party bigwigs.
Gogoi said he did not even hesitate to sign files put up by Sarma, when he was a minister, without once going through the contents.
"Himanta Biswa Sarma was my blue-eyed boy. I preferred and backed him over many senior party leaders and even took on senior leaders for his cause," Gogoi said here, a day after Sarma announced his decision to quit the Congress to join BJP.
Gogoi maintained that he had even helped Sarma in getting permission for launching a satellite television channel in the State, which is run by Sarma's wife and associates.
Stating he had never questioned Sarma's efficiency as a minister, Gogoi further recalled that he would sign files put up by Sarma's departments without any hesitation as he 'trusted' the latter completely.
Accepting that there was a sense of betrayal in Sarma crossing over to the rival saffron camp, the veteran Congressman said, "Betrayal has become a part of my long life in politics. Initially, I was shocked when Himanta started speaking out against me. But I was not surprised by his announcement yesterday since there was a buzz about him joining BJP."
He, however, maintained that the Congress will not be harmed in any way by Sarma's departure and said, "In Congress, no individual is more important than the party."
Pointing that many senior Congress leaders had also left the party over differences in the past, Gogoi said such 'committed Congressmen' had always joined 'like-minded parties', but not any 'commul or even regiol' party.
He claimed that while the Congress stood for "secularism and pro-poor politics, BJP is a commul and pro-capitalist party."
Gogoi further said the BJP's popularity in the State is already in the decline as evident from the Tiwa Autonomous Council poll results, in which the BJP maged a third position with three seats, while its vote-share declined considerably in areas where it had domince earlier.