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Dissidence politics and Assam's halting development
The clock struck past 11:30 am, we entered the premises of a venerated Assam government office which was wearing a deserted look. Other than the watchman and a few Grade IV staff, there was barely the presence of any top notch official in that office or anywhere near its vicinity.

"Sir, this is an everyday chapter, stretched to nearly two months now. The in-charge or the officials though arrive very late or do not turn up", reveals one of the peons on conditions of anonymity.

Now, the million dollar worrisome question that pops up is who is actually to be blamed? Is it only the officials or the leadership itself made to face the heat?

The above mentioned is simply one story, however assuredly the ongoing dissidence in Assam politics has brought Assam under a similar canopy. The high voltage drama of dissidence politics in the ruling congress camp that's been continuing for the past one and half years now has certainly paralyzed the development of the state.

A big-wig official serving in the Agriculture Department of the state government publicizes about the dearth of any new developmental scheme in the department. He adds, "It's been about one year and there's not any initiation of profit oriented scheme for the farmers of Assam. Not only Assam, but entire country is highly dependent on agriculture and the ignorance of the state government over its internal conflicts is a thing to look on."

The political drama of dissidence is on the verge of completing its second anniversary now! With a want of change in leadership and cabinet reshuffle, internal party rift initially began. Later on with bountiful amount of allegations, counter allegations and the MLAs beginning to camp in Delhi, the cracks began to widen.

Further things became public and worsened when on 7th June, 2013, fifteen dissident Congress MLAs had lodged complaints to the party leadership against the "style of functioning" of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi alleging that the state is now being run by officials and public representatives have no say in administration.

During the later phase, the numbers increased to 40 and now it is now rumbling over 46-50. Though during the first half of this political drama, people were merely scratching the surface on leadership of the dissident camp. But, later on things became evident with the Health and Education Minster, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sharma, taking charge of the dissident baton.

However, the hue and cry seemed to had ended when on October 19, 2013 the Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi convened a special sitting of the Congress Legislature Party and all party MLAs agreed to put aside their differences and work unitedly for 2014 Lok Sabha polls. But, just after the elections concluded, the dissident party leaders came down more fiercely.

The battle for power continued among the hungry bunch of people's representatives with continuous meetings, over luscious dinners, travel to the capital and so on. And amidst this political hullabaloo, the development and progress of the state has been brought to a halt.

Firstly, at a time when Assam government has been pre-occupied with internal conflicts over power and leadership, Assam's pride- the endangered one-horned rhinos- continued unabated with 41 deaths accounted during the year 2013 and Kaziranga National Park recorded the highest with 34 killings, followed by three in Orang and two each in Manas National Park and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, according to media reports.

Also, the law and order of the state is also at stake with proliferation of incidents like kidnapping and extortions, violence following statehood demand by ethnic groups.

Thirdly, as of recently the death of two top Assam police cops, DSP, Gulzar Hussain and Hemren Superintendent of Police, Nityananda Goswami in encounters. Added to it, the government desolating the family of Gulzar Hussain over rehabilitation and only 6 bullets being fired while offering tribute to the deceased PSO of Nityananda Goswami, Ratul Nunisa, raises strong and unavoidable question marks over the security and defense of the state. Further bringing the responsibility and concern of the government, under close scrutiny.

It's not that, the internal party scribble has hampered only the people of the state, but it has brought the ruling congress itself to a verge of extinction. The recent results in Assam of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls are a clear indicator of it.

If political analysts are to be believed Assam is now heading to a phase where Congress would perhaps be completely wiped out. With a massive success in the recent general elections, the BJP has already padded up for mission 2016. If sources are to be believed, BJP is pretty hopeful to fly the saffron color in more than 75 constituencies, during the 2016 assembly elections.

In the midst of a disturbed political scenario, another vexatious factor for the people of Assam is silence of our various national organizations like KMSS, AASU and so on. At a time when KMSS led by Akhil Gogoi, clutches its head in all big and small matters of Assam, his silence when the state is facing such a dearth is perhaps jaw dropping and unforeseeable for the people of Assam as well as the supporters of Akhil.

Meanwhile, during the later part of the day on 15th June after a meeting of the dissident camp headed by Dr. Himanta Biswa Sharma, he verbally offered his resignation to the CM. "I met the chief minister for one-and-a-half hours and expressed my desire to resign from my minister's post to make way for others whenever he reshuffles his Cabinet", stated the Health and Education minister of Assam in press conference.

Dr. Sharma added, "I have not submitted a written resignation to the chief minister but have just expressed a desire to do so. I don't want to create a crisis by submitting a written resignation. Don't want to create an unnecessary situation."

Dr. Sharma assured about peroration of the ongoing dissidence and that all MLAs will cooperate with the chief minister and not demand a change in the CLP leadership. Superficial introspection of the scenario seems things are now coherent.

It's worthwhile to mention that when the hue and cry for power seemed like deceasing, Bodoland Peoples' Party (BPF's) announcement to end its eight year long alliance with Congress, further opens a new casket of problems for the Congress.

According to BPF, with this long time alliance, the Bodo nationals have not been benefited in any way. "It's meaningless to stay in the government as the ruling Congress cannot protect the life and property of the people in BTAD", said the Chief of Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), Hagrama Mohilary.

Meanwhile, Transport and tourism minister Chandan Brahma including parliamentary secretaries Rakeswar Brahma and Maneswar Brahma have already submitted their resignations to the CM. If sources are to be believed, there are chances, that the BPF might join hands with the BJP and lock horns in the 2016 assembly elections. If this happens, chances of the Congress getting whitewashed completely from Assam, increases even more.

After, Mallikarjun Kharges visited Assam to introspect the state's political scenario, both the dissidence and the chief ministerial camp have perhaps observed vow of silence. Yet, whether Assam waits for another political drama, the picture still remains blurred.

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