GUWAHATI, March 13 - The Congress and the AIUDF are likely to continue their new-found �friendship� till next year�s Assembly elections in the State.
On a day when former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and AIUDF supremo Badruddin Ajmal walked holding each other�s hands while accompanying the Opposition�s joint candidate for the Rajya Sabha elections Ajit Kumar Bhuyan when the latter went to file his nomination, both the senior leaders made it clear that defeating the BJP in the 2021 Assembly elections is the prime objective for both the parties.
Bhuyan, who today filed his nomination as an Independent candidate for the March 26 elections to three Rajya Sabha seats of Assam, has been backed jointly by the Congress and the AIUDF.
Gogoi and Ajmal went inside the Assam Legislative Assembly complex hand-in-hand, along with Bhuyan, and other senior leaders of Congress, AIUDF, CPI, CPI(M), as well as members of the artiste fraternity and legal luminaries, among others.
Speaking to reporters, Gogoi said, �Ajit Kumar Bhuyan is not only backed by the Congress and the AIUDF. Leaders of the CPI, CPI(M), artistes, intellectuals, lawyers, even former senior BJP leader like CK Das, among others have come today to extend their support to Bhuyan�s candidature. Bhuyan has the support of all those who believe in democracy and secularism.�
Gogoi said that the Rajya Sabha elections are the �semi-finals before the final of 2021�.
It is noteworthy that a few years back Gogoi had made the famous �Who is Badruddin?� remark.
Asked if the new-found bonhomie between the Congress and the AIUDF will continue in the 2021 Assembly elections, the senior Congress leader said, �Our friendship with Badruddin Ajmal will continue... This is also with regard to the CPI, CPI(M), KMSS, intellectuals and others... We will together remove the BJP from power in 2021.�
Ajmal concurred with Gogoi�s view.
�This friendship will not end here. Ajit Kumar Bhuyan is not merely a joint candidate of our parties. All the Assamese people and anti-CAA forces have united. The friendship will continue even post 2021,� said the AIUDF president.
Gogoi, on his part, also launched a blistering attack on the BJP and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. He said that BJP �seeks to spread the virus of communalism�.
Reacting to comments of Gogoi and Ajmal, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, �We have always been saying that Congress and AIUDF are two sides of the same coin. Today it has been proved. People of Assam will reject them.�
State BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass exuded confidence that the ruling BJP-led NDA will return to power in 2021.