Congress in Assam mulls alliance with AIUDF for RS seats

New Delhi, Feb 28
Ahead of elections for the Rajya Sabha, the Congress in Assam has offered an olive branch to the AIUDF headed by Badruddin Ajmal to keep the BJP at bay.


The Congress unit in the state is contemplating tying up with regional forces to defeat the BJP.

Sources say former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, once opposed to AIUDF, is keen to join hands with the party.

The Assam unit of the party is mulling putting up a joint candidate of three parties, including AGP, who are against the controversial citizenship law being opposed in Assam.

Congress General Secretary in-charge of the state Harish Rawat said there is no proposal yet, but if it comes from the state unit, the party leadership will look into it. "As far as an alliance is concerned, it is not decided in Guwahati but by the party President Sonia Gandhi," said Rawat.

"We respect the sentiments of the parties who are fighting the BJP," Rawat added.

The three seats going to the polls -- two are vacated by Congress MPs who switched to BJP. The third seat would fall vacant when BPF's Biswajit Daimary retires in April.

The AIUDF leader is currently not in the country and is supposed to return during the Parliament session.

In the 126-member assembly, Congress has 23 MLA while BJP has 60 and the AIUDF 13. If the opposition join hands, then the Congress can win a seat in the Upper House, but then the Congress has to get the AGP support which has 14 MLAs.

The Congress which has got only 46 MPs in the Rajya Sabha may not be averse in joining hands with a rival to keep its numbers in the Rajya Sabha, said a source.