Fear of ‘horse-trading’
GUWAHATI, April 9: On a day when the AIUDF packed off its Assembly poll candidates to Rajasthan, the ruling BJP asserted that the NDA will easily form the next government on its own and there is no question of resorting to ‘horse-trading’.
Eighteen of the 20 AIUDF candidates flew to Congress-ruled Rajasthan by a chartered flight on Friday morning.
“Barring Mujibur Rahman of Dalgaon, who recently had an operation, and Champak Kalita of Barkhetry, all the other 18 candidates of our party left Guwahati this morning by a chartered flight. They will be spending the next few days in a Congress-party ruled State. The BJP has a history of trying to ‘poach’ elected representatives of other parties and our leadership does not want to take any chances,” a senior AIUDF office-bearer told The Assam Tribune.
Meanwhile, BJP leaders categorically discounted any likelihood of the ruling alliance attempting to ‘win over’ members from the opposition.
“The BJP never indulges in such kinds of practices. There are many examples of the BJP sacrificing its own governments rather than engage in illegal means to achieve majority. The Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government lost the vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha by a single vote and resigned. But we did not try to entice members of other parties to cross over to our side,” said BJP leader and Minister Parimal Suklabaidya.
“The BJP-led NDA is anyway going to retain power with a big majority. So why would we want support from others? These people (AIUDF candidates) dare not face the public and have now gone for vacation,” he added.
State BJP general secretary and Lok Sabha MP Pallab Lochan Das accused the AIUDF of “arrogance”.
“They should wait till May 2 to find out the verdict of the people. They are already behaving as if all of them will win in the election. By doing so they are insulting the voters. If they want to go for recreation or vacation, they should say so. Why indulge in falsehood and wrongly accuse us of something which we have no intention of doing? Besides, why did the AIUDF give tickets to people whom it cannot even trust to be faithful after the results are out? The NDA will easily form the government again and we do not need the support of others,” Das told The Assam Tribune.
Meanwhile, there is speculation that the Congress and the BPF may also send some of their own candidates outside the State.
However, the Congress party denied such a possibility.
“We have full faith in our candidates. They are all dedicated Congress workers and will not be enticed by the BJP. There is no plan to send our candidates anywhere out of Assam,” said Leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) Debabrata Saikia.
He alleged that the BJP has a history of indulging in horse-trading.
“We have the examples of Manipur, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, and Arunachal Pradesh where the BJP has come to power by unfair means. But at the same time, in Assam the BJP will not succeed in any such attempt,” Saikia added.
CPI(M) central committee member Suprakash Talukdar said that both candidates of the party will also stay back in Assam.
“All Marxist cadres are dedicated activists. There is no question of sending our nominees anywhere. Our party has full faith in both our candidates and they have full faith in the party,” he said.
The Congress, the AIUDF, the BPF and the Left are all constituents of the opposition ‘grand alliance’. It is noteworthy that BPF’s Tamulpur seat nominee, Rangja Khungur Basumatary, had created a sensation by joining the BJP ahead of the third phase of elections.