Assam's rebel minister Himanta Biswa Sarma quits

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Himanta Biswa Sarma

Guwahati, July 21: Assam's rebel minister Himanta Biswa Sarma Monday resigned from the state cabinet, saying it was not possible "mentally, physically and politically" to work under Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

Sarma, who was holding health and education portfolios, submitted his resignation to Governor Janaki Ballabh Patnaik.

Addressing a press conference here after tendering his resignation, Sarma said he felt that continuing under Gogoi was not possible for him "mentally, physically and politically".

Sarma said he would continue to oppose the state government's anti-people policies within and outside the legislature.

"We are going to play the role of a constructive opposition in the assembly," said Sarma, who is believed to be leading a group of dissident Congress legislators.

He, however, added that he would obey the party whip.

Meanhwile, the Congress Monday said the resignation of Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was not a rebellion against party vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

"It is not a rebellion against Rahul. The issue is that some people would not be happy with the chief minister (Tarun Gogoi). But majority are with the chief minister," Congress leader Kamal Nath told media persons outside the Parliament House.

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