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Cong, AIUDF in secret poll understanding, claims Assam BJP

Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, a former Congressman who is seen as number two in the BJP government in the state, also claimed that the two parties are "protectors of illegal Bangladeshis

Press Trust of India  |  Guwahati 

The BJP Monday alleged that the AIUDF fielding candidates in only three seats proved that it has a secret understanding with the

Himanta Biswa Sarma, a former who is seen as number two in the BJP government in the state, also claimed that the two parties are "protectors of illegal Bangladeshis".

He said the Citizenship (Amendment) is not the only election issue for the BJP in

"It is very clear that the and the AIUDF have an understanding for seats. Former chief wants to ensure that his son retains the Kaliabor constituency and the AIUDF has not put up a candidate there," he added.

The (AIUDF) has so far announced three candidates with sitting MPs Badruddin Ajmal, the party chief, from Dhubri and Radheshyam Biswas from Karimganj (SC) constituencies. Barpeta's sitting has opted out due to ill health and he has been replaced by

"The battle lines have been drawn with the and the AIUDF on one side protecting the interests of the illegal Bangladeshis and we, on the other, are protecting the interests of the indigenous Assamese people", claimed Sarma.

The Congress denied that it has any poll understanding with the AIUDF.

In 2014, the BJP won seven out of 14 seats in Assam, the Congress and the AIUDF had three MPs each and one member was an Independent.

The three-phase hustings in will be held on April 11, 18 and 23, while the results will be announced on May 23 along with the rest of the country.

Sarma asserted that the Citizenship (Amendment) is not the only issue for the BJP and there are Balakot air strike, development of infrastructure and many more.

The convenor of BJP-led North East (NEDA), the regional platform of the NDA, was addressing a press conference after a of the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) movement joined the saffron party here.

The Bill, which sought to provide provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, triggered a huge protest in Assam and other Northeastern states. The indigenous people were apprehensive that if the bill was enacted, they would lose their identity and livelihood.

Though the bill is going to lapse in June, had said the party will bring it back, if voted to power.

Ashwini Chetia, a former of the (AATASU) joined the BJP here.

The AATASU was one of the 70 organisations that was protesting against the bill. Chetia resigned from the organisation recently.

"While being in the BJP, I will be able to work better for the indigenous people of Assam," Chetia said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 25 2019. 22:10 IST