Assam Assembly election | Pact with AIUDF not finalised, says Congress

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi having a word with the party general secretary in charge of Assam, Jitendra Singh during a meeting in Jaipur. File photo   | Photo Credit: Rohit Jain Paras

A month after contesting the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) election together, the Congress has denied any tie-up with the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) for the upcoming Assembly poll.

Election to the 126-member Assam Assembly is due by May.

“We have neither finalised any alliance with the AIUDF nor with the Left Front for the Assam polls,” Congress general secretary in charge of the State Jitendra Singh said after a party meeting in Hajo near Guwahati on Friday.

AIUDF president and Lok Sabha member Maulana Badruddin Ajmal had stated that the two parties had decided to contest the Assembly poll together after their tie-up for the BTC poll.

The Congress and the AIUDF contested 20 of the 40 BTC seats together. The Congress bagged one of the 13 it had contested, while the AIUDF drew a blank in the remaining seven.

The Congress candidate joined the BJP soon after emerging as the winner.

“We have also not had any talks for a pre-poll understanding with any regional party,” Mr. Singh said, adding that the party’s central leadership will take a call on any alliance after feedback from the grassroots Congress workers.

The Assam Congress had been proposing a grand alliance of “like-minded parties” to take on the BJP and its allies in the Assembly election. The Assam Jatiya Parishad, a four-month-old regional party, has turned down the offer.

BJP position

The BJP said the seat-sharing arrangement with its regional ally, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), will be finalised in March.

“Our alliance for the upcoming Assembly poll is sealed, as was the case in 2016. But we are yet to work out how many seats each party will contest. This will be done by March,” State BJP president Ranjeet K. Dass said.

“The number of seats for the AGP may increase or decrease, as our common goal is to put our best foot forward to win at least 100 seats,” he said.

The AGP won 14 of the 24 seats it had contested in 2016, while the BJP won 60 of the 89 seats contested. The other regional ally, Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), had a better strike rate: it won 12 of the 13 seats contested.

The relationship between the BJP and the BPF has been under strain for more than a year now. Assam Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, a few days ago, announced that the BJP had decided to tie up with the United People’s Party Liberal, the BPF’s long-time rival, for Assembly seats in areas under the BTC.

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Printable version | Sep 29, 2021 4:46:40 AM |

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