GUWAHATI, March 17 - The AIUDF, RJD and JD(U) today announced a grand alliance of �secular parties� in Assam and invited Congress to join them to fight the BJP in the coming Assembly polls.
�We wanted a grand alliance in Assam of all secular parties on the lines of the recent Bihar polls to fight jointly against BJP and its communal politics,� AIUDF chief and Lok Sabha MP Badruddin Ajmal told reporters here.
�We had discussions with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad in this regard and asked Congress to join us in our effort to fight against BJP and prevent the party from finding a foothold in Assam,� he said.
�In Assam we wanted Congress and AGP to join us along with JD(U) and RJD, but AGP went ahead with BJP and Congress did not act, maybe due to certain compulsions,� he said.
�We, however, once again invite Congress to join us even now. We are ready to welcome them to the grand alliance so that we can fight against the communal forces which have already taken roots in the State, Ajmal said.
JD(U) general secretary and northeast in-charge Arun Kumar Srivastava said people of Assam are disturbed with BJP and its brand of politics and false promises.
�BJP had earlier given the impression that there is no alternative to the party and its leader Narendra Modi, but was defeated badly in Delhi, Bihar and other recent elections,� he said.
RJD State convenor Kanak Gogoi urged the Congress to join the alliance as �Assam is a secular state and we will not allow BJP to gain a foothold in the State�.
The AIUDF will contest around 76 seats and announced a list of 19 candidates for the second phase today, while a list of 23 candidates for the first phase has been already announced.
Both JD(U) and RJD will contest around 12 seats and they announced a list of five candidates each today.
Nitish Kumar, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Sharad Yadav are scheduled to campaign for the alliance partners for the ensuing polls.
The AIUDF is the principal opposition party in Assam bagging 18 seats in the last Assembly polls. � PTI