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The Hindu
The Hindu
Special Correspondent

Assam Assembly elections 2021 | Congress backs Akhil Gogoi’s call for united fight against BJP

Akhil Gogoi. File

The Assam unit of the Congress on Wednesday saw merit in jailed activist Akhil Gogoi’s suggestion to all Opposition parties to get together and nominate a single “worthiest” candidate across all 126 Assembly constituencies to defeat the BJP and install a government that is against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).

Also read: Priyanka Gandhi launches 5-guarantee campaign in Assam

But the grand old party disagreed with the view of the activist that such a strategy can be possible by keeping the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) out.

In an open letter a few days ago, Mr. Gogoi said that his appeal for consensus candidate was for all Opposition parties except the AIUDF led by perfume baron and MP Maulana Badruddin Ajmal.

‘Two sides of the same coin’

“We believe the BJP and the AIUDF are two sides of the same coin. Both are fundamentalists. We cannot take the support of one fundamentalist force to defeat another,” he said.

His party, Raijor Dal (RD), also said it could consider joining the Congress-led grand alliance if the AIUDF was not a part of it.

“There might be a difference of opinion and ideologies among all the political parties. But the need of the hour is to oust the BJP from Dispur [seat of power in Assam] and bring an anti-CAA force in power. The Opposition must rethink their strategy,” Mr. Gogoi said.

“There is merit in Akhil Gogoi’s suggestion, but it is up to our high command to decide on bringing his party on board. At the same time, it is for the AIUDF to analyse its characteristics. If there is no BJP, there may not be any AIUDF,” Congress MLA from Nazira and leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia said on Wednesday.

Also read: Amit Shah slams new Assam regional parties

“The Congress has been seeking a grand alliance of all anti-BJP forces and we have also said we will not field candidates in constituencies where Akhil Gogoi and Lurinjyoti Gogoi contest,” Congress MP Pradyut Bordoloi said.

He, however, said the offer should not be construed as a weakness of the Congress.

Mr. Lurinjyoti Gogoi, the former general secretary of the influential All Assam Students’ Union, is the president of the newly-floated Assam Jatiya Parishad, which is contesting the three-phase polls in alliance with the RD.

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