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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Unhappy With Congress Decision In Fight Against BJP In Assam, AIUDF Chief To NDTV

Lok Sabha parliamentarian from Assam and AIUDF chief, Badaruddin Ajmal, claims the Congress broke a tacit deal in fight against BJP in Lok Sabha polls

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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Unhappy With Congress Decision In Fight Against BJP In Assam, AIUDF Chief To NDTV

Lok Sabha Polls 2019: AIUDF chief Badaruddin Ajmal claims Congress broke tacit deal in fight against BJP


Nagoan, Assam: 

Badaruddin Ajmal, the parliamentarian from Assam and chief of the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), has claimed he had a "gentleman's agreement" with the Congress to fight the BJP but the party has now gone back on its promise.

Speaking exclusively to NDTV, Mr Ajmal said, "We took decision to contest three seats only to block BJP. We did not want votes to get divided. Congress promised they wouldn't put up strong candidate against me. Now they have put up strong candidates everywhere".

"They did not keep their promise. They are now campaigning. There was a gentleman's agreement. It was a word-of-mouth agreement," he told NDTV.

This comes after the BJP allegations that the Congress and Mr Ajmal had an understanding in Assam.

BJP president Amit Shah made his party's feeling on the subject clear at a rally in the state earlier this month, when he said, "(Tarun) Gogoi sa'ab and Badruddin Ajmal are engaged in ILU, ILU (an acronym for 'I Love You')" Mr Shah said at an election rally.

The AIUDF leader is contesting polls from Dhubri, the seat he won in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. In addition, his party is also contesting in Karimganj and Barpeta, both of which they won in the last general elections as well.

The party also has huge vote banks in other seats like Kaliabor, Nowgong, Mangaldoi, Kokrajhar.

"We left the seats so Congress can defeat BJP, but they are now even fighting against us. Since independence Muslims in Assam have voted for several parties, not just the Congress and AIUDF," Mr Ajmal added.

For its part, the Congress has also alleged an understanding - between the AIUDF and the BJP.

"There is an understanding between Himanta and Ajmal," Tarun Gogoi, former Assam chief minister said, referring to Himanta Biswa Sarma, the architect of the BJP's expansion in the northeast. "If Ajmal polarised Muslim votes, it helps the BJP to polarise Hindu votes," Mr Gogoi added.

Despite his disappointment, Mr Ajmal reiterated he will remain part of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) even after the polls.

"We are still part of UPA. We will keep supporting Congress against BJP but what they did is unfortunate. Himanata Biswa Sarma has polarized the elections. BJP wants to change our constitution. They want a Hindu country and we don't like that," Mr Ajmal further added.

Meanwhile, Himanta Biswa Sarma, also speaking exclusively to NDTV, alleged that it was in fact Mr Ajmal and Mr Gogoi who were polarizing elections in Assam.

The constituencies of Dhubri, Kokrajhar and Barpeta go to polls on April 23. Kaliabor voted in the first phase and Nowgong and Mangaldoi in the second. Assam has 14 Lok Sabha constituencies and the state is voting in three phases.

Election results will be counted on May 23.

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