Congress faces mounting opposition

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Guwahati, June 5 (UNI) Almost all opposition parties in Assam today staged demonstrations demanding resignation of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi for the alleged involvement of a minister in a bribery case.

The main opposition AGP staged demonstration and burnt effigies of Mr Gogoi and former education minister Ripun Bora in all the sub divisional levels.

The Congress government faced its severest ever crisis since 2001 as a murder case and subsequent CBI arrest of the powerful minister threatened the party.

This morning besides the AGP, the CPI(M), CITU, NCP and Janata Dal took out separate processions all over the state. The Congress too called an emergency meeting and to boost the cadres' morale they decided to invite Congress President Sonia Gandhi on June 13 for the second year anniversary bash.

The state High Command decided that the arrival of Mrs Gandhi would be the best way to tackle the situation, a Congress source said.

Meanwhile, the CBI today got three more days' remand of Mr Ripun Bora and two of his colleagues.

The Congress was shell shocked with the arrest of their spokesman and most important member of the cabinet by the CBI in New Delhi on June 3 for trying to bribe CBI official in a murder case in which he was allegedly involved.

A determined and combined opposition in Assam had already stepped up pressure demanding the scalp of the Chief Minister. Sensing danger to himself and the party, Mr Gogoi sacked the minister the same night but refused to resign.

''Let the law take its own course. Why should I resign for this incident,'' Mr Gogoi had countered. But the opposition maintained that not only did Mr Gogoi know about the criminal background of Mr.

Bora but was also allegedly shielding him as an Assam Police CID inquiry gave him a clean chit.

''Now he must go. This is unprecedented in the annals of India's history and Mr Tarun Gogoi must resign,'' said Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) president Brindabon Goswami.

The All Assam Tea Tribes Students Association(AATSA) has called an Assam bandh on June 9 demanding immediate expulsion of Mr Bora from the party and from the Assam Assembly.

Mr Bora was the state government spokesman and one of the most powerful ministers of the Assam Cabinet.

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