Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Thursday ruled out a non-Congress leader heading a coalition government in the state after initial trends showed that his party (Congress) would not get a clear majority.
"There is no need for a non-Congress chief minister. There is no doubt Congress will form government, but who will be the chief minister (from Congress) will be decided by the legislators," he said.
Gogoi categorically stated that the next chief minister would be from the Congress even if the party had to solicit support from other parties.
"I don't know who will be the chief minister. I'm happy we have been able to bring (Congress) back to power," he said.
Asked if he would step down as chief minister, he said, "I am a humble party worker and I don't bother who would be the chief minister, but the important thing is we are back in power and we will form the ministry."
Gogoi said his party's Bodo ally would get 10 seats, taking the alliance closer to a clear majority.
"I don't think we need extra votes. But if we do, sure we would seek them," he said indicating that he had been in touch with smaller parties even before the election results starting coming in.
He, however, did not disclose the parties with who he was thinking of forming an alliance with.
"We cannot disclose our strategy," he said.
When asked if he would try and bridge the difference with Assam United Democratic Front leader Badriduddin Azmal, Gogoi said, "It's not an individual who bridges the difference. Our party will decide future course of action."
On Congress losing on minority votes, he said, "We have retained our support base within minorities."