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Sunday, May 9, 2021

    Assam Polls: AIUDF candidates fly back from Jaipur over Covid fears?

    There were unconfirmed inputs that the Congress party has called for an emergency meeting of its allies on Sunday

    GUWAHATI: At least 17 candidates of Badruddin Ajmal-led All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), who were moved to Jaipur in Rajasthan in fear of horse-trading by BJP ahead of the results of the election, have returned to Assam on Saturday.

    Though they were believed to be staying in Jaipur till May 2 when the results would be declared, they returned to Guwahati much before the schedule.

    AIUDF party sources claimed that the return was advanced due to the rising numbers of Covid cases in Jaipur. As the COVID-19 cases soar in the state, the Rajasthan government on Wednesday announced a curfew from 6 PM to 6 AM.

    Sources said, “The counting is on May 2, so there was a concern that if they contract Covid there, they might not be able to reach Assam for the counting. Their presence is vital on the counting day.”

    The candidates made a brief halt at Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s residence here before leaving Rajasthan. During their stay, the candidates visited Ajmer Dargah.

    However, there were unconfirmed inputs that the Congress party which has been bearing the cost of the expenses of the AIUDF candidates in Rajasthan has called for an emergency meeting of its allies on Sunday in the city. The Congress party remained tight-lipped though.

    Several top leaders of All India Congress Committee (AICC) believed to be attending the meeting.

    In the outgoing Assam Assembly, AIUDF holds 14 seats out of the total 126. In the recently concluded polls, the party contested 19 seats. The party this time contested the polls in alliance with the Congress-led ‘Mahajot’ (grand alliance).

    The three-phase polls to the 126-seat Assam Assembly had concluded on April 6 and the state registered a high 80 percent voter turnout.

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    First published