Assam elections: Fearing BJP’s poaching stunts, parties move candidates out of state
Fearing BJP’s poaching stunt in Assam, the opposition parties have resorted to moving their leaders to an unknown territory. Badruddin Ajmal’s All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) was the first to follow suit as it moved 18 of its members to Jaipur, Rajasthan last week. After two days, Congress ally, the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), also thought it was wise to hide away its leaders amidst the ongoing state elections. Internal sources said that the party shifted about 10 of its leaders.
“They (the candidates) have left Assam. I have also heard they are out of India, but I cannot say where, as I have not been able to get in touch with them,” BPF leader Pramila Rani Brahma told reporters in Kokrajhar.
Congress accused the ruling-BJP of adopting horse-trading as its current tact to stay in power, which made other parties in the state to take the precautionary move. BJP, which came to power in Assam in 2016, is in close battle with its opponents, especially BPF, which is the largest party in the Bodoland Territorial Region, in lower Assam “It’s now a trend since the BJP tries to break the Congress after losing elections. So they (allies) want to take guard,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala had said earlier.
Some, who were aware of the development anticipated that the party moved its candidates to the neighbouring Bhutan, while others said that BPF moved them to Nepal till the counting of votes was over, i.e. scheduled for May 2.
In the current state elections, the fight for 126 assembly seats is believed to be mainly between BJP- led ‘mitrajot’ alliance and the Congress-led ‘mahajot’ alliance, which was formed with the coming together of 10 parties.
Justifying the move, a senior Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP Pradyut Bordoloi said, “We can imagine our alliance partners doing what they think best to safeguard their candidates from the dirty tricks of BJP. We have already witnessed in Goa, Manipur and other places, how BJP can manipulate voters’ verdict to gain power. Congress is not taking its candidates anywhere.”
Taking a shot at BPF’s attempt at safeguarding their position, BJP spokesperson Subhash Dutta said, “The fear among Congress’s partners shows their own lack of confidence in their candidates. They are resorting to such antics as they know they would lose. We don’t need to seek the support of their candidates as the ‘mitrajot’ is coming back to power very comfortably.”