New Delhi: AIUDF, which has significant base in Assam’s Muslim-dominated districts, today ruled out any pre-poll alliance with Congress for the coming assembly polls but said it is open to joining hands with all secular parties after the election. Chief of All India United Democratic Front Badruddin Ajmal said he is working for a Bihar-type grand alliance (minus Congress) in Assam which may include AGP, Trinamool Congress, JD-U and a few minor regional parties to defeat both BJP and Congress.
“There is no question of any alliance with Congress. If we join hands with Congress, the Hindu votes will be polarised and that will benefit BJP. We can’t allow this to happen,” Ajmal, a Lok Sabha MP, told reporters here.
Elections to the 126-member assembly in Assam, which has nearly 35 per cent Muslim population, are scheduled to be held in April-May 2016. AIUDF currently has 18 MLAs in Assam and 3 Lok Sabha members, including Ajmal. The 65-year-old AIUDF leader said he will hold a meeting with JD-U President Sharad Yadav next week to explore the possibility of forming a grand alliance in Assam. Ajmal had attended the swearing-in ceremony of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar recently.
“I have already spoken to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and she has shown interest for an alliance with us. She told me that TMC will fight some seats in Assam and in return she will give our party some seats in West Bengal. I will again meet her soon,” he said.
Ajmal said he had a meeting with AGP too for an alliance. A perfume baron, Ajmal said AIUDF is anti-BJP and anti- Congress but open for an alliance with Congress after the elections.
“I can’t say what will happen after the elections. But right now we are anti-Congress. I am clear about that,” he said when asked the possibility of an AIUDF-Congress alliance. He also said no one from the All India Congress Committee has approached him for any tie-up.
Ajmal said AIUDF is planning to field 70-80 candidates in the polls and felt that there is a strong possibility of a ‘Third Front government’ coming to power in Dispur. Strongly refuting an allegation of Congress that BJP had offered AIUDF Rs 150 crore to field candidates in all 126 constituencies, Ajmal said he would file a Rs 150 crore defamation suit in a court in Guwahati on Monday against Assam Pradesh Congress chief Anjan Dutta, who levelled the charge.