Amid hopes of gathering support from Muslims and other backward classes, the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) on Wednesday announced names of eight candidates for the coming Lok Sabha elections even as party president Siddiqullah Chowdhury claimed that ousted CPM leader Abdur Rezzak Mollah has assured his cooperation to him.
“We met for about two and a half hours on Tuesday. He (Mollah) liked our principles and aims and said he would attend a workshop on March 19 with our party members,” Chowdhury said, and explained that AIUDF’s stand would be “to urge people to vote for any party other than the TMC, Congress, CPM and BJP”.
“There are other, smaller parties they could vote for and in future, these smaller parties can unite to create a front,” Chowdhury said, while confirming that AIUDF would pitch candidates from 15 constituencies in West Bengal and 10 constituencies in Assam, where the party is headquartered.
While Chowdhury would contest from Basirhat, other AIUDF candidates include Syed Jamirul Hassan from Raigunj, Abdul Khaled from Malda (North), Hafeez Nazrul Islam from Malda (South), Sadek Sarkar from Balurghat, Pradip Ghosh from Sreerampur, Taranga Mondal from Joynagor and Anisur Rehman from Uluberia.
When asked if he was confident about pitching himself against TMC candidate Idris Ali, Chowdhury said the people are disappointed with the ruling party and want “a poriborton of poriborton”. “We have been demanding reservation for Muslims in education jobs. The CPM had initiated it and the TMC later did nothing other than talking. We would urge the people to give us votes for the sake of the development of Muslims and other backward classes.”
Chowdhury’s confidence are rooted in what he calls as “others’ interest in knowing our stand”. “It is a good sign to see that other political parties were concerned about what the AIUDF stand would be and are calling (him) to find that out,” he said.
When Mollah was contacted regarding Chowdhury’s claim, he said he had assured cooperation only to Chowdhury and not to his party, “I have not assured any support to his party, but only to him as an individual. I might attend the workshop on March 19 and if our principles match, we could unite to form a team later,” Mollah said, and added that any decision on whether he would campaign for Chowdhury in Basirhat “would be taken after the March 19 workshop”.