GUWAHATI, Oct 19 - Even as the ruling BJP and principal opposition Congress get ready for the forthcoming by-polls to the Lakhimpur Lok Sabha and Baithalangso Assembly seats, the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) is likely to refrain from contesting the elections.
Senior AIUDF leaders told The Assam Tribune today that the party is currently focusing on its organisational restructuring, including selection of new district and central committees, and it also believes that fielding candidates in the by-elections will divide the �secular� votes, thus helping the BJP.
�For one thing, we do not have any organisational base in Baithalangso. However, we do have a very good organisation at many places under the Lakhimpur Lok Sabha constituency and in the 2014 Parliamentary polls, our candidate from the seat had secured a substantial number of votes. But, at this juncture we believe that contesting the by-election from that seat will serve no purpose for our party. If we contest from Lakhimpur, the secular votes will be split and the BJP will benefit,� said a senior AIUDF office-bearer.
The AIUDF had won the Naoboicha Assembly seat, which falls under Lakhimpur Lok Sabha constituency, in the last Assembly polls.
�Our organisational base in Lakhimpur is such that we can swing the results one way or the other. But at this moment, it is unlikely that we will back any other party, including the Congress, openly. Rather, as the by-polls approach we have appealed to our party workers and supporters to vote for the best possible secular alternative,� said a party leader.
He added, �While the Congress and the BJP are the main contestants, there is also the possibility of a multi-cornered contest in case other parties like the Gana Shakti also jump into the fray from the Lakhimpur seat. In such a situation, our vote bank can play a crucial role in an informal manner.�
The AIUDF�s steering committee will meet soon to take a final decision with regard to the by-elections.
Meanwhile, the Badruddin Ajmal-led party is moving ahead with its organisational rejig. �That is our priority for now. Meetings have been held at various places across lower and central Assam and soon organisational meets will take place in the Barak Valley. Our new central committee will be constituted by November 10,� said a party leader.