Guwahati: Former Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who resigned as a legislator on Tuesday after he joined the BJP earlier, said it was due to the "family-centric" politics in the Congress that forced him to quit.
Sarma also criticised Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi in a letter to party president Sonia Gandhi.
Sarma said when he informed Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi in front of central observers that 52 legislators out of 79 had categorically sought the ouster of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, "he (Rahul Gandhi) answered me so arrogantly that it is his prerogative to change the chief minister".
"Isn't it a fact that our Constitution has given power to the MLAs to select a leader of their choice? If that is the constitutional provision, where from does Rahul Gandhi get the prerogative to choose who will rule the people of Assam?" Sarma asked.
“He (Rahul Gandhi) tried to pretend to be very strong and determined leader but we all know how mush insecure he is even in his own constituency. We have to work overtime to get Sanjay Singh elected into Rajya Sabha against our conscience just to ensure the electoral victory of Rahul in Amethi in Lok Sabha election 2014."
Sarma, who resigned from his Jalukbari seat in the Legislative Assembly yesterday, mentioned in the letter: "A despotic family-centric politics constantly emboldened by a bunch of sycophants had never allowed a rational and neutral voice to reach to the Congress leadership in the state".
Sarma, who is a former health minister, said the "feeling of betrayal" among the people was "now clearly visible and is getting reflected in series of electoral debacles" -- whether in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, or Assembly byelection, municipal polls or to the Bodoland Territorial Council and Tiwa Autonomous Council.
He alleged that the state Congress leadership defamed him in the name of "crushing dissidence", and he was "constantly humiliated".
"From 2012, I observed that the situation was deteriorating and the party is losing respect due to the callous attitude of the state leadership," Sarma wrote.
"The third-time victory had gone into the head, and arrogance started replacing compassion and dedication to work for the people. A sense of complacency and status-quoism had engulfed the party leadership," he said.
"The principle commitment of the Congress to the people in the 2011 election was to make Assam a top-ranking state. Our collective dream to make Assam a front-ranking state shattered at the whims and fancy of a single individual," he alleged.
He said that in Assam, remote villages and riverine areas were still deprived of basic electricity supply.
"Our failure to create employment opportunities has forced lakhs of youth from Assam to move to other states for petty monthly salary of Rs 4,000-5,000," he said in the letter to Sonia Gandhi.
Stating that the Congress has made him what he was today, Sarma said it was time to return his debt to his state and nation. He said he was "convinced" that his dream can be achieved only from the "platform" of the BJP and "under the strong leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi".
(With Agency inputs)