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Months after falling out, Congress and AIUDF come together in Assam again for Rajya Sabha polls

Congress president Sonia Gandhi had on Friday night approved the name of Ripun Bora as the party’s Assam candidate. This followed the minority-based AIUDF’s declaration of support for the Congress.

Published: 19th March 2022 04:49 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th March 2022 04:49 PM   |  A+A-

Assam opposition leaders

Former Assam Pradesh Congress Committee President Ripun Bora and AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal (Photos | ANI, PTI)

By Express News Service

GUWAHATI: Months after they had fallen out, the Congress and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) have come together for the Rajya Sabha elections.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi had on Friday night approved the name of Ripun Bora as the party’s Assam candidate. This followed the minority-based AIUDF’s declaration of support for the Congress.

Bora, who is a former Assam Congress president, is seeking re-election. The election is scheduled for March 31.

The AIUDF’s support, however, is conditional.

“The Congress had sought our support and we extended it. We told them they would have to make a similar gesture when our candidate contests the next Rajya Sabha election,” AIUDF general secretary Aminul Islam said.

The other seat is currently held by Ranee Narah of the Congress. Assam has seven Rajya Sabha seats. The five other seats are currently held by the ruling BJP (three), Asom Gana Parishad (one) and Anchalik Gana Morcha (one).

The Congress and the BJP are equally upbeat about victory in the two seats.

The Congress requires the votes of 42 MLAs and it claims to have 44 MLAs on its side. Two of them are, however, under suspension. Of the two, one said he was at liberty to vote for any candidate.

Recently, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had told journalists that the BJP and its alliance partner United People’s Party Liberal would win both seats. They have the votes of 83 MLAs, one short of the required number.

The Congress and the AIUDF were two key components of the eight-party grand alliance of Opposition that was constituted ahead of last year’s Assam elections. The AIUDF, and not the Congress, had gained from the alliance.

Months later, the Congress had passed a resolution on severing its ties with the AIUDF for its “mysterious praise” of the BJP.



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