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Anti-CAA activist Ajit Bhuyan is Congress AIUDF supported candidate for Rajya Sabha

The All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and the Congress have decided to support an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) activist as their common candidate for one of the three Rajya Sabha seats in Assam going to polls later this month.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2020, 11.19 AM IST
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Guwahati: The All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and the Congress have decided to support an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) activist as their common candidate for one of the three Rajya Sabha seats in Assam going to polls later this month. The Congress and the AIUDF declared their support for journalist Ajit Bhuyan in a media conference on Wednesday. Rajya Sabha elections will be held for 55 seats on March 26.

The ruling BJP on Wednesday said that it, along with an ally, may contest all the three Rajya Sabha seats. The BJP had earlier said it planned to field a candidate for one seat and would give another to its ally Bodoland People’s Front (BPF). It was hesitant to contest the third seat saying the numbers did not favour it and its allies. “The atmosphere now exists for the BJP to contest the third seat. However, we will wait to see whom the Congress is giving the ticket to,” BJP leader and Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Wednesday.

The BJP has fielded former Congress leader Bhubaneswar Kalita as its candidate. Kalita joined the BJP after quitting the Congress and resigning as its Rajya Sabha MP last August. The BPF has announced it will field Biswajit Daimary for the second seat. Daimary filed his nomination on Wednesday. Former Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh Raja of Amethi is also eyeing a berth in the upper house from Assam. “On Thursday, the candidate may file the nomination,” Sarma said. “The atmosphere now exists for us to contest the third seat,” he said.

“If Ajit Bhuyan, a veteran journalist, is being supported by the AIUDF, this proves that intellectuals have led the anti-CAA protests only to get a Rajya Sabha seat. A section of the intellectuals were carrying out anti-CAA protests at the behest of AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal and the protest was done for securing a Upper House berth. Bhuyan has decided to surrender before Ajmal,” he said. Assam has been witnessing bitter protests against CAA.

Sarma said, “Former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi has surrendered before Ajmal and fundamentalist forces. They think that in 2021, Gogoi will be the chief minister and Ajmal will be the deputy chief minister.” “Our love for AIUDF is open. Unlike the BJP, we do not do it secretly. The AIUDF and the BJP have jointly formed many panchayats. In the past, the BJP and the AIUDF have jointly put a candidate for the Rajya Sabha election,” Gogoi said.

The BJP has 60 seats in the 126-member Assembly. Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), a BJP ally, has 14 and the BPF has 12 MLAs. An independent MLA supports the BJP-led government. The Congress has 23 MLAs, while the AIUDF has 14. Two seats are vacant.
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