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Ex-MLA Set To Turn Saffron Ahead Of PM’s Jorhat Visit

Assam Con Working President Rana Goswami Quits Party ** Cong Will Be Impacted, Admits Debabrata Saikia

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HT Bureau

JORHAT/GUWAHATI, Feb 28: Congress in Assam faced another setback on Wednesday as Rana Goswami, the working president of the grand old party, resigned from his position.

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He also stepped down from the active membership of the Congress party.

Goswami had previously resigned as the party’s organisational in-charge of Upper Assam, citing ‘various political reasons.’

In a letter addressed to K C Venugopal, the general secretary of the All India Congress Committee, Goswami stated that he was tendering his resignation as the working president of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee and as an active member of the Indian National Congress.

“I beg to state that I am tendering my resignation as the working president of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee and as an active member of the Indian National Congress,” the letter read.

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Copies of the brief letter, which cited no specific reason for leaving the party, were also sent to AICC general secretary Jitendra Singh (in-charge of Assam) and Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Bhupen Borah.

This development, potentially a major setback for the Congress, the main opposition party, occurred just three days after Goswami relinquished his responsibilities as the in-charge of Upper Assam districts and four other districts in North Assam.

Speculations abound that Goswami, now reportedly in Delhi, may join the ruling BJP in the coming days, especially before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed visit to the state next week, with Jorhat on his itinerary.

Another source indicated that Goswami will join the BJP on March 4. Following his resignation, he is likely to meet BJP president JP Nadda in the presence of chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

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According to sources familiar with the internal dynamics of the Congress party in the state, Goswami’s dissatisfaction stemmed from not being consulted on certain party matters in Assam.

Sources also claimed that Goswami’s departure could significantly impact his hometown, not only because of his two-time legislature tenure but also due to his strong influence over the party rank and file for nearly three decades.

Goswami has served in various positions such as Congress district president and led the youth wing of the INC.

There is also a speculation that a faction of party leaders and workers may follow Goswami to the saffron camp if he chooses to join.

It’s worth noting that there were discussions in political circles about Goswami potentially switching sides after he left the Congress leader’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra midway in Assam. However, Goswami refuted any such move at the time, citing poor health for his departure.

Meanwhile, the leader of the opposition Debabrata Saikia of the Congress informed reporters that Goswami did not provide any reason for quitting the party.

“He has not given any reason for quitting the party. If provided, we can analyse and take suitable action to rectify the situation,” Saikia said.

“The party had some inkling about Goswami’s decision as he was absent from several political programs, but he should have discussed his grievances with the Congress state president,” he added.

Saikia acknowledged that Goswami’s resignation would impact the Congress but affirmed their commitment to strengthening the party.

“I will not deny it, but we will continue with our efforts to strengthen the party,” he said.

Responding to speculations about Goswami switching sides, the chief minister on Tuesday stated that he had no information about it, but “he is a powerful leader of the Congress, and if he joins the BJP, I will welcome it.”

Goswami, a close associate of former CM Tarun Gogoi, was elected to the assembly in 2006 and 2011 from Jorhat. He was appointed the state party’s working president in 2021.

Earlier this month, Congress MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha resigned as state working president and, along with another party legislator, Basanta Das, expressed support for the BJP-led government’s ‘development agenda’. (With inputs from PTI)

 

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