GUWAHATI, April 12: “The shifting of contesting candidates from Assam to Rajasthan to protect them from ‘poaching’ by BJP was nothing but a drama,” Asom Gana Parishad president and state minister Atul Bora on Monday said.
18 contesting candidates along with two leaders of All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) have been taken out of the state fearing horse trading by the saffron brigade in the last week.
Maulana Badruddin Ajmal –led AIUDF is an ally of Congress-led ‘Mahajot’ in the recently concluded state assembly elections.
Several contesting candidates of Left parties and Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) were also out of the state. While AIUDF and Left party members were camping in Rajasthan, BPF’s candidates were believed to be somewhere in Bhutan. Some were even reportedly gone to Singapore.
Addressing a press conference here, AGP president Bora expressed confidence in returning to power with its allies – BJP and United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL).
“It’s just a conspiracy to malign our image. There is no question of horse-trading when we have the numbers. It’s just drama,” Bora said.
“It’s ironic that they have given a guarantee to the people of Assam but they don’t trust their own candidates. How can they expect the people of the state to take them in confidence?” Bora questioned, taking a jibe on Congress led 10-party Grand Alliance.
He added that Congress’ ‘lies’ were exposed to the people of the state who have already rejected them in the poll.
“We (NDA) will do much better. Though we don’t want to reveal the numbers, it’s sure that it’s better than the previous time,” he said.
AGP was likely to hold its party workers meeting shortly in which the party would evaluate its performance and take feedback on poll trends.
In the 2016 Assembly polls, the BJP won 60 seats and the AGP 14. The UPPL is a new partner of the BJP and has no MLA yet.
The BPF, which was part of the BJP-led alliance, had won 12 seats in 2016. However, BPF was no longer an alliance partner of the BJP and recently joined the ‘Mahajot’.