Assam Congress forged an alliance with Asom Jatiya Parishad (AJP) and Raijor Dal severing ties with old allies AIUDF and BPF for the 30 October bypolls to six Assembly seats.
Assam state Congress President Bhupen Kumar Borah said that of the six seats, Majuli will be left to the AJP while the Bhawanipur seat is likely to be given to Raijor Dal even as a final decision was expected from the party President Akhil Gogoi.
Majuli seat fell vacant after former chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal was elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha on 27 September. Bypoll for the seat is expected to be announced soon, Borah added.
The Election Commission on 28 September announced the bypolls to Gossaigaon, Tamulpur, Bhabanipur, Mariani and Thowra which will take place on 30 October.
Borah and AJP President Lurinjyoti Gogoi emphasised the “need to defeat the divisive agenda of the BJP, which was dabbling in communal politics only for electoral gain”. Gogoi pointed to galvanisation of all like-minded opposition parties to fight against “destructive communal tide unleashed by BJP on the people of Assam”.
“The systems of purchase of MLAs would keep democratic traditions in bondage and this is dangerous for all of us. The need of the hour is to create an environment in Assam which is free from communal politics and agenda of hate,” the AJP President said.
The AJP and the Raijor Dal together fought the March-April Assembly polls but only Gogoi was elected to the assembly.
Of the other partners of the Congress led 10-party ‘Mahajot’ (grand alliance), the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) won 16 seats, the Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF) got four seats, and the Communist Party of India-Marxist won just one seat.
The Assam Congress last month announced that the Badruddin Ajmal-led AIUDF and tribal-based party BPF would no longer be partners of the ‘Mahajot’ in the state.
In the March-April Assembly polls, the Congress had left the Bhabanipur seat to the AIUDF while the Gossaigaon seat was contested by the BPF.
Recently, four-time Congress MLA from Mariani, Rupjyoti Kurmi and two-time party legislator from Thowra, Sushanta Borgohain resigned from the party and joined the BJP.
Phanidhar Talukdar, the lone Hindu MLA of the Muslim-based AIUDF from Bhabanipur, had resigned from the Assembly before recently joining the BJP.
Tamulpur MLA Leho Ram Boro of the UPPL and Gossaigaon legislator Majendra Narzary of the BPF died of Covid-19.
BJP sources said that the party would field candidates in four seats and leave the Tamulpur constituency for UPPL.
The party’s state unit chief Bhabesh Kalita has claimed that the BJP would win all the five seats in the by-elections.
In the 126-member Assam Assembly, the BJP won 60 seats, which is similar to the number it won five years ago. BJP allies Asom Gana Parishad won nine seats against 14 previous time, while the new alliance partner, UPPL, got six seats.