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AIUDF to contest from only 3 LS seats in State


GUWAHATI, March 25 - The All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) today announced that it will contest the coming general elections from only the three Lok Sabha constituencies that it had won in the 2014 polls and refrain from putting up candidates in other seats, a decision that is expected to prevent split of minority votes and work against the BJP.

�We have decided to contest in only three seats � Dhubri, Barpeta and Karimganj � where we have already announced our candidates. We have taken this decision after considering the current situation of Assam. We have decided to concentrate our strength in these three constituencies... Our aim is to stop the BJP. So we have decided to contest only the seats which we had won last time,� said Aminul Islam, general secretary of AIUDF.

�BJP has failed to fulfil its commitments and proved its anti-Assamese nature by its actions, including on the issue of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. The BJP is playing divisive politics. We need to ensure that the BJP does not return to power,� he added.

Today�s announcement by the AIUDF is in sharp contrast to the stand it had adopted in recent months. The party had in recent weeks said that it intends to contest from at least seven constituencies in the Lok Sabha elections.

Asked if AIUDF�s latest decision is the outcome of some sort of �understanding� with the Congress, Islam said, �We have no understanding or alliance with the Congress... The Congress has already announced its candidate for Karimganj. That clearly demonstrates that we are not together... If we contest greater number of seats, then the Congress alleges that we have a tie-up with the BJP. And if we contest less number of seats, then the BJP alleges that we have an understanding with the Congress.�

Islam, however, admitted that the AIUDF has been part of the Congress-led UPA at the Centre since last ten years and will continue to be part of the UPA. �Our stand is clear. We want to defeat the BJP,� he said, adding that in constituencies where the AIUDF does not contest it will call upon its supporters to exercise �conscience vote�.

Meanwhile, the ruling BJP lost no time in accusing the Congress and the AIUDF of entering into a tie-up for the polls. �Both Congress and AIUDF are part of UPA. They are friends in Delhi. Now their relationship has been formalised in Assam as well,� said senior State BJP leader Mominul Aowal.

Former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, however, dismissed any suggestions about any �understanding� between the Congress and the AIUDF. �It is their (AIUDF�s) decision. What do we have to comment about?� Gogoi said.

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