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Truant Assam MP adds to Congress's woes

K Anurag in Guwahati | July 16, 2008 20:50 IST

A disgruntled senior Congress member of Parliament from Assam is adding to the worries of the Congress leaders who are leaving no stone unturned to woo MPs from other political parties to help the United Progressive Alliance government sail trough the crucial July 22 trust vote.

The Congress MP representing Barpeta Lok Sabha Constituency in Assam, AF Golam Osmani who is known for his running feud with the state party leadership, has dropped enough hints that he may abstain for casting his vote during the trust vote. It may prove disastrous for the UPA government if the MP plays truant on July 22.

The MP had earlier abstained from voting in the last presidential election much to the embarrassment of the party. He had to be persuaded by a number of party MPs to cast his vote in favour of Hamid Ansari during the vice-presidential election.

Osmani is nurturing a grudge against the state party leadership which had earlier indicated that the party was unlikely to re-nominate him to contest the next round of parliamentary election from Barpeta constituency and that former President, Fakharuddin Ali Ahmed's Delhi-based son Parvez Ahmed was being considered for the same.

In the issue involving Osmani, Assam Chief minister Tarun Gogoi told the media : "I have not been asked by the Congress parliamentary party to get in touch with any MP from the state regarding the trust Vote. Still, I hope that all party MPs from the state with stand by the party during the crucial trust vote."

Regarding party's reported decision not to re-nominate Osmani for the next Lok Sabha election, Mr Gogoi said, "The party hasn't decided on the Lok Sabha election candidates as yet. There are speculations in the media about Parvez Ahmed as the replacement of Osmani in Barpeta Constituency. There is nothing official about it. Even Osmani's son is seeking a nomination from Barpeta. The party is open to all requests for tickets that are going to come from the district level party committee."

Gogoi was obviously trying to send a positive signal to Osmani. The MP has chosen to remain out of reach from the media though his is around in his parliamentary constituency. Osmani is expected to go to Delhi to attend the special session of the Parliament.

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