Kharge to go to Assam tomorrow as central observer

Kharge to go to Assam tomorrow as central observer

Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge is going to Assam tomorrow as central observer in the backdrop of demands for removal of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi following the party's debacle in Lok Sabha elections.

Party sources said Kharge, who is the leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, will meet party MLAs and PCC office-bearers to ascertain their views and report back to high command.

No decision has, however, been taken so far for sending central observers to Maharashtra, where the fate of Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan hangs in balance following the poor show in the polls.

Gogoi has been facing rebellion from a section of MLAs led by Himanta Biswa Sarma, who has reportedly sought his ouster.

The Chief Minister had offered to resign after the party managed to win only three of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in the state and had met Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

When asked if his replacement was on the cards, Gogoi had earlier said, "I won't say yes, I won't say no. It is going to be a high command decision only."

Congress has been debating the pros and cons of replacing its chief ministers in order to beat the anti-incumbency mood in some states and save the party from breaking up in others.

The talk about a change of guard in Maharashtra had gained momentum after senior party leaders A K Antony and Ahmed Patel met NCP chief Sharad Pawar at his residence recently where the issue was discussed threadbare.

Congress could win only two and its ally NCP just four of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections.

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