The BJP and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) fear that the Congress might use the pro talks members of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) in the battle of ballots to ensure a third straight victory.
The apprehension comes barely a fortnight after Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi accused the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) of taking the help of the anti talks ULFA headed by elusive ‘commander in chief’ Paresh Barua.
“The Congress might use the ULFA, having facilitated the release of almost all its top leaders to rush through a peace process. The party might also use other rebel groups on ceasefire such as the National Democratic Front of Boroland and Dima Halam Daogah (DHD),” said BJP spokesperson Pradip Thakuria.
The BJP, he said, has intimated the Election Commission about the dangerous possibility. “We’ve told the EC that we are not averse to peace talks but that the militants should not be used by the ruling party,” Thakuria added.
The AIUDF, a minority party led by Lok Sabha MP and perfume baron Badruddin Ajmal, has also petitioned the EC airing similar fears. “We have asked the Commission to keep tabs on the pro talks ULFA in the run up to the polls since we fear the Congress might use them to ensure electoral victory,” said AIUDF spokesperson ARM Bhuyan.
“We have also asked the EC to seize all illegal arms and ammunition so that they are not used during the electoral process,” Bhuyan added.
The BJP had earlier attacked the Tarun Gogoi government for dividing the ULFA into the pro talks group led by chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa and the anti talks led by Paresh Barua.
Barring Barua, believed to be operating from northern Myanmar, all ULFA leaders who matter are on bail. Rajkhowa and his fellow rebel leaders, however, said they would have ‘zero involvement’ in the elections.
Barua had last month urged the people of Assam to boycott the Congress party and its electoral rallies. The call had prompted Gogoi to allege that Barua’s men were helping the AGP win the 2011 election.