5 BJP contestants extended support to Grand Alliance, claims AIUDF

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GUWAHATI/SILCHAR, April 13 (PTI): The AIUDF on Tuesday claimed that ‘five-six BJP contestants’ in the just concluded Assam Assembly elections have contacted the party promising support to the Congress-led Grand Alliance of which Badruddin Ajmal’s outfit is a constituent.

Karim Uddin Barbhuiya, one of the AIUDF candidates who were flown to Jaipur last week due to fear of poaching by the saffron party, told PTI, “five-six BJP contestants have contacted me offering their support to the Grand Alliance”.

Asked who the BJP candidates were, Barbhuiya, who is All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) general secretary said, “the names cannot be disclosed now. You will know after May 2, when the results are declared”.

The BJP has rubbished the claim. To another query as to whether the saffron party candidates were from the Barak or Brahmaputra valley, the AIUDF leader said, “they are from all over Assam”.

On being pointed out that the BJP contestants if victorious will support the Grand Alliance will come under anti-defection law, the AIUDF nominee for Sonai constituency said that they will contest again.

About media reports of 20 AIUDF contestants being packed off to Rajasthan a few days ago fearing horse-trading, Barbhuiya denied the reports and claimed they had gone there on a vacation and to visit Ajmer Sharif Dargah for relaxing after hectic electioneering.

Saying he had returned to Assam on Monday, the AIUDF leader informed that the others would arrive in the state on Wednesday.

The AIUDF candidates were hosted at Hotel Fairmont on the outskirts of Jaipur.

It is the same hotel where Rajasthan Congress MLAs were lodged during a political crisis triggered by the rebellion of party leader Sachin Pilot against chief minister Ashok Gehlot last year.

Meanwhile, on being contacted, BJP chief spokesman Rupam Goswami strongly denied the AIUDF claim, asserting that none of their contestants contacted the opposition party.

“Ours is a disciplined party and its members do not contact other political parties without informing our party leadership”, he said.

“There is no question of contacting the AIUDF as our BJP will win the elections and form government in Assam again”, Goswami added.

The BJP’s chief spokesman took a jibe at AIUDF and said that this must be the first time in the history of the country that a political party is claiming contestants of other parties are contacting it even before the poll results are declared.

Elections to the 126-member Assam assembly were held in three phases between March 27 and April six and results will come on May 2 along with other poll-bound states.

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