Ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls in March, former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has said that he is open to an alliance with the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) to fight “communal forces”. “This is my personal opinion. I am open to an alliance and understanding with the AIUDF and happy to field a candidate to fight against communal forces,” Gogoi told The Indian Express.
On Tuesday, the Election Commission issued a notification announcing elections to 55 Rajya Sabha seats across 17 states. In Assam, polling for three seats (represented by the Congress’s Bhubaneswar Kalita and Sanjay Singh and Bodoland People Front’s Biswajit Daimary) will be held on March 26. While Kalita and Singh resigned from Congress to join the BJP, Daimary’s term will end on April 9.
AIUDF general secretary Aminul Islam said that since the party president was out of the country, no internal discussion has taken place on this development. “We, too, want to field a candidate that opposes the CAA. We aim to get the BJP out,” he said.
Congress’s Debabrata Saikia, Leader of the Opposition in Assam Assembly, said, “The fight is against the idea of BJP and the CAA. The point is to field a candidate who opposes the CAA. Not just AIUDF, but there is a scope for three (AIUDF, AGP and Congress) to get together and field a common candidate.”
Gogoi said that he had “personally” not approached the AIUDF yet. “But all I want to say is that I am in favour of it,” he said.
In 2018, when the AIUDF hinted at a tie-up with the Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Gogoi dismissed it as a “rumour”. He had said that he considered the AIUDF “communal”.
“Those were their (AIUDF’s) initial days… Being fundamental and talking about minority interests are two different things,” Gogoi said.
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