Quitting after Cong debacle, Gogoi throws more questions than answers

If Assam CM can resign for “temporary setback” to party in general elections, should he not have resigned following clashes and riots?

sanskrita

Sanskrita Bharadwaj | May 16, 2014



Tarun Gogoi may have started the season of taking “full responsibility” for the Congress party. With the party’s performance taking a nosedive in the state, the Assam chief minister announced his resignation pretty early into the counting process on Friday.

Assam had always been regarded a Congress stronghold, and the party has been ruling the state since 2001. Gogoi is into his third term as chief minister.
As of 6 pm, with most votes counted, the Congress was projected to get two or three out of the state’s 14 seats – down from seven in the 2009 general elections. Worse, having denied the existence of any Modi in the state for so long, the BJP is poised to win seven – up from its tally of four in 2009.

More worrying, the BJP has more than doubled its vote share in these five years – from 17.21 percent in 2009 to 36.5 percent this time.

The AIUDF is set to get three seats, while Independent candidate Urkhao Gwra Brahma is set to defeat transport minister and sitting MLA Chandan Brahma of Congress’s alliance partner Bodoland People’s Front in the trouble-torn Kokrajhar constituency.

Not long after Gogoi’s announcement, reports from Mumbai indicated Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan  could also tender his resignation. And by late afternoon, as the trends turned into results, and which announced loud and clear that the Congress had been flattened across the country, party president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul, too, joined the responsibility-taking brigade. "The Congress has done pretty badly, and there is a lot to think about. I hold myself responsible," Rahul Gandhi said.

Addressing the joint press conference with her son, Sonia Gandhi said, "As (the Congress) president, I take responsibility for the defeat.”

In Guwahati, meanwhile, Gogoi called the Congress defeat a “temporary setback” and assured that the party would soon “bounce back”.

This prompted many to question his loyalty and responsibility as the state’s chief minister: is it to the people, as should be the case, or to the party, as is turning out in this case? If Gogoi can resign for a “temporary setback” for the party in the general elections despite getting the mandate from the people in the assembly elections, should CMs, then, not resign following largescale clashes and riots? Are such tragedies not a setback – and a huge one, with more long-term effects – for the state, and its people?

Perhaps Gogoi, who has seen communal and sectarian clashes haunt his state in recent times, has some answering to do.

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