Ministers have quit in Assam and Maharashtra, and MLAs have joined TMC in West Bengal
It was a black Monday for the Congress as two senior State ministers in Assam and Maharashtra resigned in protest against the party’s Chief Ministers, three Congress MLAs in West Bengal crossed over to the Trinamool Congress, former MP Lal Singh quit the party in Jammu and Kashmir and the rebellion against Haryana Chief Minister grew stronger.
Of these several acts of revolt, the Congress leadership is taking Assam Education and Health Minister Hemanta Biswa Sarma’s resignation most seriously, as it has the potential to split the party and topple the Tarun Gogoi government, with the number of rebels being substantial.
In Maharashtra, Industries Minister Narayan Rane’s quitting the government is an embarrassment for the party, but as his support base has shrunk, the Congress seems less concerned but with impending elections in the State, this resignation adds to the negative perceptions, party sources admitted. But the party’s alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party is intact, clarified NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Monday.
Taken together, the message for the Congress is grim, as of these five dissident-struck States, Assembly elections are due in three – Maharashtra, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir — later this year. The Congress High Command has, so far, taken a tough line with the rebels, refusing to act under pressure. But the delay in taking a decision on the chief ministers of Assam, Maharashtra and Haryana is now costing it dear.
Party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told journalists, “For sometime, some individuals have had differences with their Chief Ministers. It is very clear from Mr. Rane’s statement today that that there were issues of personal ambition: he wishes to be the CM. Similar is the case with Mr. Sarma. But personal ambition can’t be accommodated in this way.”