Ripun Bora raises HPCL issue at Rajya Sabha
APCC president Ripun Bora (File Image)

The Congress is all set to replace its Assam party chief Ripun Bora.

The AICC is likely to appoint a new president of the party in the state after the Assembly by-polls.

A panel of five names, including AICC general secretary Bhupen Bora, Lok Sabha MP Pradyut Bordoloi, CLP leader Debobrata Saikia, Lok Sabha MP Gaurav Gogoi and former Union minister Paban Singh Ghatowar has been drawn up, The Assam Tribune reported.

But the choice is going to be tough due to various pulls and pressures within the party.

Sources said the party high command was upset over the exodus of leaders, including Rajya Sabha MPs Bhubaneswar Kalita and Sanjay Sinh to the BJP.

There was also a fiasco over the National Register of Citizens issue when senior leaders spoke in different languages until Congress president Sonia Gandhi stepped in and warned leaders of Assam Congress to speak in one voice.

Party insiders said while Bora is being backed by the Rahul Gandhi’s camp, AICC general secretary Ahmed Patel favours Bordoloi.

Saikia enjoys the confidence of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The choice of former chief minister Tarun Gogoi, whose opinion would be crucial, is not known.

Party sources said several Congress leaders from Assam have reached New Delhi to lobby for their leaders.

A team led by former Rajya Sabha MP Dwijen Sarma is in the capital and is trying to get an appointment with the Congress president.

Another group, led by a prominent MLA belonging to the tea community, will visit the national capital soon to push for the candidature of Saikia.

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