The opposition announced its alliances ahead of Assam polls due in three months
With Assam Assembly polls due in three months the main opposition - the Congress - has announced an alliance with three Left parties and, significantly, the Badruddin Ajmal-led AIUDF (All India United Democratic Front).
The announcement puts to rest speculation the party would distance itself from the AIUDF after many within voiced strong objections. A regional party - the Anchalik Gana Morcha - will also be part of the opposition alliance, it was revealed Tuesday night.
The announcement was made by top Congress leaders, including the party's observers for this election - Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Bhaghel and Mukul Wasnik - and included an appeal to other regional parties to come and be part of Assam's grand opposition alliance.
"Not only Congress but all six parties have formed this. The people want this alliance... in the last five years a new type of politics has come - of hatred and ruining the fabric of Assam. The people want the BJP to go. Therefore, we like-minded parties have come together to fight the election," Jitendra Singh, the Congress' General Secretary in-charge of Assam, told NDTV.
Mr Singh said the details had to be worked out but added there would be a common manifesto.
"None of the parties have joined the alliance with any preconditions," he said.
Aside from the Congress, the AIUDF and the Anchalik Gana Morcha (led by independent Rajya Sabha MP Ajit Kumar Bhuyan), the others in this alliance are the CPI, the CPIM and the CPI(ML).
"Today's declaration is very good for Assam and matches the expectations of the people. This alliance will throw out the BJP (and) is not only about minority votes. Last time, the Congress and AIUDF did not have an alliance... they lost 27 seats to vote division. Now we are trying to collect all BJP opposition votes and we will be able to come to power," Aminul Islam, the AIUDF General Secretary, told NDTV.
"People has seen the much-touted Gujarat model. In Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh we have fulfilled 24 of 36 promises made to the people. Before the Covid pandemic the country was witnessing an economic slowdown (but) in October GST collection in Chhattisgarh was highest in the country. We are getting good investments," Mr Baghel told reporters in Guwahati.
"Chhattisgarh is one state where people get money even by selling cow dung," he added.