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Amit Shah targets Congress-AIUDF for ‘secret understanding’ in Assam

While there has been no formal tie-up between the Congress and perfume baron Badruddin Ajmal’s AIUDF, the latter’s decision to contest only three seats, thus making things easier for the former in five Lok Sabha constituencies, has given the BJP reason to allege “a secret deal” between them.

lok sabha elections Updated: Mar 28, 2019 19:44 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
Narendra Modi,Amit Shah,Lok Sabha
Amit Shah also slammed the erstwhile Tarun Gogoi-led Congress government in the state for allegedly settling illegal immigrants inside the Kaziranga National Park.(PTI)

Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah on Thursday alleged that the Congress has a ‘secret understanding’ with the All India United Democratic Front for the coming Lok Sabha polls.

Addressing two public rallies in Kaliabor and Jorhat constituencies, Shah urged voters to reject the opportunistic alliance and vote in favour of BJP and its allies in all the 14 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

“It appears that Congress is contesting alone. But I want to warn people of Assam not to get fooled, during day they campaign on their own, but at night they start their ‘love talk’,” he said at a rally in Teok in Jorhat to drum up support for BJP candidate and state minister Tapan Gogoi.

While there has been no formal tie-up between the Congress and perfume baron Badruddin Ajmal’s AIUDF, the latter’s decision to contest only three seats, thus making things easier for the former in five Lok Sabha constituencies, has given the BJP reason to allege “a secret deal” between them.

In 2014, the Congress and AIUDF won three seats each while the BJP secured seven Lok Sabha seats in Assam. Ajmal’s party relies heavily on votes of Bengali Muslims, a section seen by many in Assam as infiltrators from Bangladesh.

Significantly, this time the AIUDF has not fielded any candidate from Kaliabor, a seat represented by Congress’s Gaurav Gogoi, son of veteran Congress leader and former chief minister Tarun Gogoi.

“What is the meaning of these two (parties) coming together? Congress leaders should answer what is the meaning of going for a tie-up with Ajmal,” asked Shah while suggesting that the ‘alliance’ would lead to increase in illegal infiltration to Assam.

“In order to secure a win for his son, (Tarun) Gogoi has been forced to fall at the feet of Ajmal,” he stated in his address in Kaliabor, the Lok Sabha seat that has remained with the Congress for close to 30 years.

The Asom Gana Parishad, an alliance partner of the BJP-led government in the state, has fielded Moni Madhab Mahanta against Gaurav Gogoi.

The Congress returned the favour in the same style. Party spokesperson Apurba Bhattacharya said, “I have just one question for Amit Shah. If we have a secret understanding with AIUDF, how does BJP know about it? The BJP is just trying to polarize voters by making such baseless statements. Voters will not get fooled by such tactics.”

While Shah didn’t mention the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in his speeches, he assured that if voted to power again, the BJP would ensure all illegal immigrants are deported.

“In the last five years, the Modi government has provided Rs 3 lakh crores to Assam. In comparison, Manmohan Singh, who represented Assam in the Rajya Sabha for 20 years and was prime minister for 10 years, gave just Rs 50,000 crores over the same period,” the BJP president said.

First Published: Mar 28, 2019 18:19 IST