Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi to meet Sonia Gandhi with resignation

GUWAHATI: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Tuesday arrived in New Delhi to offer his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and seek her directives on his future role.

This comes as dissidents have once again called for leadership change following the party's debacle in the Lok Sabha polls. The Congress won just three Lok Sabha seats in the state.

A close associate of Gogoi, who has travelled with him to New Delhi, said, "The chief minister will seek Sonia Gandhi's advice on what role she wants him to play after the poor election results. If the party president does not accept his resignation, he will ask for a freehand without any interference from any central leaders to manage his ministers and MLAs here. Gogoi often takes advice of the party president."

A group of rebel ministers and legislators have carried out a signature campaign for the leadership change. Pro-Gogoi ministers have countered this by asking the chief minister to form a new cabinet.

"We have proposed to the chief minister to call for resignation of all ministers so that he gets a freehand to form a new cabinet. I have also talked to few ministers and we are all ready to submit our papers," forest minister Rockybul Hussain said. Agriculture minister Nilamani Sen Deka told TOI he is ready to resign if the chief minister calls for a collective resignation of all ministers.

On Monday, pro-Gogoi legislators met the chief minister and pressed for new faces in the cabinet, who can deliver before the 2016 assembly elections. The group asked Gogoi to form the new cabinet within 15 days.

Significantly, the pro-Gogoi group wants the chief minister to call off the alliance with Bodo People's Front after several organizations and people alleged it had instigated recent killings of Bengali-speaking Muslims.