File photo: Tarun Gogoi

Political activities gained momentum in Assam with the opposition Congress trying to forge a “grand alliance” ahead of the assembly elections next year.

Former chief minister Tarun Gogoi on August 22 announced that he is not going to be the next ‘prospective’ CM candidate of Congress while advocating to form a “grand alliance” that includes All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and left parties to uproot BJP from power.

Addressing media persons in Guwahati, Gogoi said: “I am not going to be the chief minister of the state. I would like to be a guiding force or act as an advisor. There are several qualified candidates in Congress who can take the charge.”

He added that only a common candidate from the possible alliance should be projected as the chief ministerial candidate.

However, several party leaders of Congress, mostly from the Upper Assam belt, were opposing the party move to go an alliance singly with AIUDF and expressed their resentment to party heads. They believed that joining hands with AIUDF would impact their vote share in the Upper Assam areas where the tea garden community and indigenous tribes share the maximum votes.

Rana Goswami, former MLA of Jorhat, said: “I have spoken with former chief minister Tarun Gogoi and said that only joining hands with AIUDF may not be suitable. However, if there is a grand alliance then the situation may change.”

Recently, Congress MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi also opposed the alliance with AIUDF. Kurmi said: “I have been opposing the alliance with AIUDF and I will continue to do so as the alliance would affect Congress party in Upper Assam.”

Ranjan Gogoi as CM candidate of BJP?

The former chief minister also tried to cast doubt on the BJP leadership in Assam and said that former chief justice of India Ranjan Gogoi may be vying for the chief minister’s post in the state.

“I have heard from my sources that Ranjan Gogoi’s name is there in the list of BJP candidates from Assam. I suspect he might be projected as the next possible chief minister candidate as well,” he said.

Gogoi also said if Ranjan Gogoi could go to Rajya Sabha on BJP’s nomination, then he might agree with the next ‘prospective’ CM candidate tag of the BJP as well.

“It is all about politics. BJP was happy with Ranjan Gogoi over Ayodhya Ram Mandir case judgment. Then he gradually entered the politics, step-by-step by accepting the Rajya Sabha nomination. Why he could not refuse the Rajya Sabha membership? He could have easily got chairman of Human Rights commission or other such rights organisation post. He has political ambition and that’s why he accepted the nomination,” Gogoi said.

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