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AIUDF for poll tie-up with secular parties


NEW DELHI, Feb 20 � In what is seen as an initial posturing ahead of the polls, AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal while talking tough against the State Congress Party, said that his party�s doors are open for alliance with any secular party.

Refusing to divulge his poll strategy, Ajmal said he would watch the Congress Party�s move before finalising his list of candidates. But he did not forget to warn that if an alliance with the Congress does not work out, then he is determined to put up a tough fight against the party in most of the seats. He particularly singled out the Kaliabor Lok Sabha seat, where Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi�s son Gaurav Gogoi is likely to be fielded.

However, he added that so far he has not received any feelers from the Congress. Pressed further, he said that he is planning to put up candidates in 10-12 Lok Sabha seats. A panel of two candidates for each constituency has been short-listed, he added.

Ajmal clearly knows that the Congress is not comfortable with the idea of fighting AIUDF in minority-dominated areas covering six-seven Lok Sabha seats, where a split in minority votes might help the Opposition. �Barring BJP, we are willing to align with any secular party,� he added.

But a senior Congress leader from Assam said that they are not keen on joining hands with AIUDF because there has been a perceptible change of thinking among the Muslims in Assam after BJP�s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi�s Guwahati rally. The Muslims in Assam have become panicky and they are now thinking in terms of supporting the Congress because the only party, which has the capacity to take on Modi at the national level, is the Congress party, not the AIUDF, he argued

The Lok Sabha constituencies where the AIUDF is not likely to field candidates include Karbi Anglong, Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur, besides Kokrajhar, Ajmal said.

Ajmal, however, did not dwell on the recent Rajya Sabha fiasco, where a division in Opposition votes led to victory of the ruling alliance�s candidates.

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