Veteran Congress leader and three times former Chief Minister of Assam, Tarun Gogoi on October 26th, 2019 said that he is open to join hands with the perfume baron Maulana Badruddin Ajmal led All India United Democratic Front(AIUDF) to take on the incumbent BJP-coalition government for the forthcoming 2021 Assam Assembly elections. However, the latter has sought a ‘written assurance’ from the Congress party.
The announcement came after the Congress lost its Jania seat to the AIUDF in the recently held by-elections. The Jania assembly constituency has always been considered as a Congress stronghold. However, AIUDF’s candidate Rafiqul Islam won the seat with a huge margin of votes.
“We do not have any problem joining hands with the AIUDF. I might have objected earlier but now we should be more focused. If the BJP can do it, we can do it too. There is no dictatorship in Congress,” said Gogoi while addressing the media here in Guwahati.
Reacting to Gogoi’s comments, Ajmal said he wants a ‘written’ statement from the party’s president to hold a discussion. “Things flip in politics and at present, he (Gogoi) does not hold any post in Congress to make such an offer. If the party’s President gives us a written statrement then we can give a thought to hold a formal discussion on the alliance,” said Ajmal.
It may be mentioned the Jania seat had been lying vacant after Congress MLA Abdul Khaleque won the Lok Sabha elections from Barpeta. He won the MLA seat in 2016.
While talking about the upcoming 2021 Assembly elections, Gogoi attacked the BJP and claimed that the party will not receive a good turnout in the upcoming elections. “The recent by-elections is evident that the BJP cannot garner votes just by playing the emotion card. The BJP is not going to perform well in the upcoming Assembly elections,” the Congress leader added.
On being asked about BJP retaining three seats in the by-elections, the former Chief Minister taking responsibility for the party’s loss announced that if given a chance he is ready to represent the state Congress. “If required we will change the representative and I am all ready to take the responsibility of the party president,” he said.
Photo: Jyotish Pawan Bordoloi