GUWAHATI, Feb 27 - The Congress has categorically turned down the proposal of the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) for electoral understanding and decided to fight the ensuing State Assembly polls alone. However, the party is holding talks with the forces opposed to the Bodoland People�s Front (BPF) in the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) area and the final picture is likely to emerge within the next few days.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Anjan Dutta said that Congress would have no electoral understanding with the AIUDF. The AIUDF had requested the Congress to leave the seats in Lower Assam to them and promised support in Upper Assam. But Dutta categorically rejected the offer.
�The AIUDF leaders know that people belonging to the minority communities would not vote for them in the ensuing polls because they suspect that the party entered into a secret understanding with the BJP to defeat the Congress. That is why, the AIUDF leaders are now trying to show the people that they are with the Congress,� he said.
Dutta said that talks are on with the anti-BPF forces in the BTC area, while the organisation of the Congress in the area is also becoming strong. He pointed out that the State government has already fulfilled a number of demands of the All Bodo Students� Union (ABSU), including creation of a separate Directorate for Bodo Medium Education, recognising Bodo as an associate language of the State, etc., and under the circumstances, the Congress is expecting support from the ABSU and other such organisations. Several non-Bodo organisations in the BTC are also opposed to the BPF and the Congress is hoping to get their support, he added.
Admitting that the Congress did not do well in the tea belt in the last Lok Sabha polls, the APCC president said that the situation has changed as the two Members of Parliament belonging to the tea community have failed to keep their promises. He alleged that the BJP-led government at the Centre even tried to stop ration provided to the tea garden workers at subsidised rates, which was vehemently opposed by the State government.
The APCC has started the process of accepting applications from those who seek party ticket to contest the polls. March 3 will be the last day of submission of applications. The applications would then be sent to the block and district-level committees for their views and those would then be discussed by the APCC election committee. Finally the list of candidates would be announced by the All India Congress Committee.
Dutta said that he would contest the polls, but he has not decided from where he would contest. �The party high command will decide from where I should contest the polls,� he added.
Dutta�s daughter is seeking party ticket to contest from Amguri constituency now represented by him.
Dutta asserted that he would not be contesting the Rajya Sabha polls and the party is yet to finalize its candidates for the same.