Congress-AIUDF alliance will be restricted to 25 to 30 seats in the...

Congress-AIUDF alliance will be restricted to 25 to 30 seats in the assembly polls: Himanta Biswa Sarma


GUWAHATI: With Congress and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) inching closer to form an alliance for next year’s assembly polls, Assam’s finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the tie-up will be restricted to only 25 to 30 seats in the elections.

AIUDF is led by Badruddin Ajmal, who is a Lok Sabha MP. AIUDF and the Congress jointly supported the candidature of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) activist Ajit Bhuyan in March this year for Rajya Sabha seat and Bhuyan won. Following this, both the parties proposed a grand alliance to oppose BJP.

Sarma said, “If Ajmal gets prominence the culture of Assam cannot remain intact. See how in the last one week talks are centred in and on Ajmal.”

“However, we have started taking steps to ensure that Ajmal is stopped and both Congress and AIUDF will be restricted to 25 to 30 seats,” he added.

Ruling BJP, together with its allies, is targeting to win 100 seats.

State BJP president Ranjit Kumar Dass said, “We have set a target of 100 seats however if elections are held now we will win 84 seats. Till respectable people are there in Assam, we will continue to win.”

Assam has 126 member assembly. Former Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi who has earlier on several occasions opposed alliance with AIUDF has now softened his stand and said that doors are open for everyone including AIUDF.

Gogoi had said, “Due to AIUDF putting candidates against us in 2016 assembly polls, we lost as many as 30 seats.”

AIUDF had gobbled up the muslim minority support base of congress since 2006.

Making its electoral debute AIUDF won 10 seats in 2006 assembly polls. In 2011 assembly polls AIUDF increased its tally to 18 seats. AIUDF which won one seat in 2009 Lok Sabha polls increased it to three in 2014 Lok sabha polls.

However, in 2016 assembly polls, AIUDF just won 13 seats.

BJP has 61 MLAs while its allies Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF) had won 14 and 12 seats respectively in assembly polls in 2016.

Congress had 25 MLAs in 2016, later one resigned from congress and contested from BJP and won.

Recently, Congress in Assam held its core committee meeting where some leaders opposed alliance with AIUDF.

Rupjyoti Kurmi, congress MLA from Mariani, said that the alliance with AIUDF will result in debacle for the party in Upper Assam. “I have opposed the move to have an alliance with AIUDF.”

Gogoi however argued, “In 2006 assembly polls when I opposed Ajmal, we did not get much seat in Upper Assam. Alliance with AIUDF will increase number of seats in Upper Assam.”

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