NEW DELHI, March 11 - Opposition parties on Wednesday formally nominated journalist Ajit Bhuyan for the third Rajya Sabha seat. Addressing a joint press conference here today APCC president Ripun Bora along with State Opposition leader Debabrata Saikia, Lok Sabha MP Gaurav Gogoi and AIUDF leader Hafiz Washir Ahmed said several names were discussed after which Bhuyan was selected as the joint candidate of the opposition.
Bhuyan had written two applications to Congress and AIUDF requesting both the parties to support him. �We discussed his request at the party level as well as with AIUDF before deciding to support him because at this juncture we have to rise above party line and support a neutral candidate who played a major role in the anti-CAA agitations,� said Bora.
State Opposition leader Saikia hailed the decision and said that they are confident of electing Bhuyan because their combined strength is 37 votes and we need 34 first choice votes. �I also appeal to the AGP to support Bhuyan because last time they resigned from NDA Alliance opposing CAA,� Saikia said.
Staff Reporter adds: Speaking to this newspaper AIUDF general secretary Aminul Islam said, �The Congress and the AIUDF do not have the numbers to win a seat individually. We decided to support a joint candidate who does not have any party affiliation. Various names came up and we finally zeroed in on Ajit Kumar Bhuyan. We wanted an individual who has played a major role in the anti-CAA agitation and has democratic and secular credentials. Bhuyan not only have these characteristics but he has also served selflessly in the field of journalism for many decades, without compromising on basic issues.�
Islam said that AIUDF president Badruddin Ajmal and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, along with senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Harish Rawat and others jointly decided on Bhuyan�s names.