GUWAHATI, Dec 3 - The Congress and the AIUDF will not stake claim to any constituency where the other party has an incumbent legislator and there will be no exchange of such seats between them in the prospective opposition �grand alliance� for the 2021 Assembly elections.
�There is no question of sacrificing any of the constituencies where we have sitting MLAs. Likewise, we will also not lay claim to any seats where the AIUDF has incumbent representatives. We do not want to encroach upon each other�s incumbent seats as we seek to prevent any unnecessary conflict between our two parties,� a senior Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) office-bearer told this newspaper on Thursday.
He added that the All India Congress Committee (AICC) is likely to take a final call on the grand alliance formula by the end of this month.
�The State unit of our party first mooted the proposal for a grand alliance and it was accepted by the AIUDF and the Left parties. However, AICC general secretary in-charge for Assam Jitendra Singh said during his visit to the State last month that the final decision about the alliance will be taken by our party�s high command, which is anyway the norm. The AICC is now studying all aspects of the issue. In addition, elections to the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) and the Tiwa Autonomous Council (TAC) are scheduled for later this month. At this moment all focus is on these elections. Once the BTC and TAC polls are over, a final decision regarding the grand alliance is expected, most likely by December end,� said the APCC office-bearer.
Meanwhile, Congress sources admitted that there is still some opposition from certain quarters within the party to the proposal for the grand alliance and especially to the participation of the AIUDF in the proposed front.
�A few of our sitting MLAs as well as some ticket aspirants from upper Assam are not in favour of having the AIUDF as a constituent of the grand alliance. Similarly, some leaders from the minority-dominated constituencies which are now held by the AIUDF are also not in favour as they themselves want to contest the 2021 elections and it will not be possible for them to do so from the Congress� fold as we have no intention of laying claim to any seat currently being held by AIUDF,� said another senior Congress leader.
He, however, added that efforts are being made to placate the disgruntled leaders.
�Overall, the view of the State Congress is strongly for an alliance with the AIUDF and we expect to receive the green signal from the high command to go ahead with it,� said the leader.