Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar’s efforts to replicate a Bihar-style Grand Alliance against the BJP in Assam suffered a setback after both the Congress and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) ruled out any pre-poll tie-up.
JD(U) sources told HT that Kumar has abandoned his plan to play the role of a peacemaker between the two rivals in his attempt to thwart the BJP’s aggressive bid to capture power in the northeast state, which goes to polls in April-May this year.
Kumar, who defeated the BJP in high-stakes Bihar elections recently, had suggested a compromise formula so that the Congress and AIUDF fight the upcoming polls as alliance and prevent any division of votes.
The JD(U) had also conveyed to the Congress that despite his political prowess, chief minister Tarun Gogoi was facing a situation of “huge anti-incumbency” and the ruling party could end up with less than 20 seats if it doesn’t project a “fresh and young” leadership in the upcoming elections.
However, the Congress rejected the proposal and Gogoi too succeeded in deflecting any move to replace him, prompting Kumar to give up his plan.
Gogoi and AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal have both gone on record, saying there is no question of any pre-poll alliance. The war of words between the two sides has escalated recently.