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Horse-trading on, Congress poaching AIUDF candidates, alleges Ajmal

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  9 May 2016 12:00 AM GMT

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, May 8: AIUDF president Badruddin Ajmal has dropped another bombshell when he said that the Congress in Assam has already started horse-trading by contacting as many as 15 AIUDF candidates who are potential winners in the Assembly election.

Soon after the completion of today’s preview meeting on the party’s would-be picture after May 19 when the results of the Assembly election on the State would be declared, Ajmal told newsmen that the tall claims being made by the BJP and the Congress on the number of seats they would won seemed incoherence. “If what they claim is to really happen, Assam should have 226 LACs against 126. The BJP first claimed to win 84 seats and the Congress claimed 74 only to come down to 64 now. How come such a thing happens in Assam Assembly where the total number of LACs is 126? The ground reality remains that neither the Congress nor the BJP is going to get absolute majority in the State, and this has led the Congress to start horse-trading even before the declaration of the election results,” Ajmal said, and added: “The only option I’m left with is sending my MLAs abroad, to places like Australia, Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong etc. Let them go and roam about. The Congress poachers are on the prowl.”

On the number of seats going to be won by the AIUDF, Ajmal said: “I just start my counting from 24.”

It is worth mentioning here that soon after his return from the 22-day post-poll foreign tour on May 4 Ajmal did say: “I just start the counting of AIUDF seats to be won in this Assembly election from 35. Though there are many who put the number of our seats from seven to 13, we’re confident of winning 40 to 45 seats. Neither the Congress nor the BJP-led coalition can form any government at Dispur this time around. This has paved the way for a third front government in the State. There can be an alignment comprising the AIUDF, the AGP and the BPF. If it wants, the Congress can join us. Right from the beginning, I’ve been maintaining that the door is open for the Congress in the third front. However, such a proposal has to come from the central leadership of the party, neither from Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi nor from Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president Anjan Dutta. The party that will have the maximum strength of MLAs in the third front will have to take the lead. If the people of Assam want, I’ll be the Chief Minister.”

However, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi rubbished what Ajmal has been telling the media over the past few days. Gogoi said: “We’re in no way seeking help from Ajmal to form the government at Dispur.”

Meanwhile, at the review meeting at Silpgram here today, the AIUDF previewed the would-be results of the Assembly election in the State. Party candidates and polling agents briefed Ajmal and other top leaders of the party on the number of seats which the party is going to retain or wrest from other parties.

The meeting also made party candidates and polling agents aware of strategies they would have to take at the time of counting of votes on May 19.

Meanwhile, a section of AIUDF candidates informed Ajmal and other top leaders of the party that the Congress had already contacted them for support in the event of the ruling party needing some MLAs to form the Government at Dispur. “The Congress poachers are on the prowl to poach AIUDF MLAs for the formation of the government at Dispur as the party has come to know that they’re not going to get absolute majority,” a section of AIUDF candidates said.

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