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Opp parties welcome Cong plea for anti-NDA front

By PranJAL bhUYAN

GUWAHATI, Aug 19 - The Congress� appeal for a �grand alliance� to take on the NDA in the 2021 Assembly elections in the State has been welcomed by other major opposition parties, even as the ruling BJP alleged that all talks of such a front are mere subterfuge so that the Congress can enter into a formal tie-up with the AIUDF.

�We welcome the decision of the Congress. There is an urgent need to remove the BJP from power for the sake of the future of Assam. The BJP government has failed on all fronts. Our party has been calling for an opposition alliance since some time and we are glad that the Congress has now formally endorsed that line,� AIUDF general secretary Aminul Islam told this newspaper.

He said that the AIUDF president Badruddin Ajmal is currently out of Assam and the party�s core committee would hold a meeting to discuss the Congress� proposal once Ajmal returns.

�For a grand alliance to become a reality we will need a common minimum programme (CMP). Our core committee meeting will look at the issue and we will respond to the Congress party�s proposal accordingly,� Islam said.

The Communist Party of India (CPI) said unity of all anti-BJP forces is necessary at this time.

�Since 2018, our party�s political line has been to call for unity all Left, democratic, �secular� and regional forces to take on the BJP. The position now taken by the Congress party seems reasonable. But some points, including the need for a CMP, have to be looked into,� CPI Assam state council secretary Munin Mahanta said.

Asked if the CPI will respond favourably to the Congress� appeal, Mahanta said, �We are ready to consider it, but let first Congress initiate discussion.�

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI (M) said that it welcomes any strategy which might prevent a split in the anti-BJP votes.

�We always welcome any step which will ensure that the anti-BJP votes are not fragmented. As the Congress has now publicly called for a grand alliance of opposition forces, we will deliberate upon it on our party forum. But before we arrive at any final decision, we will need to hold consultations with the other Left forces. The politics of Assam is now in a fluid state and we are keeping a keen eye on it,� CPI (M) central committee member Suprakash Talukdar said.

On being asked about Congress party�s appeal for an opposition grand alliance, State BJP chief spokesperson Rupam Goswami said, �All this talk of grand alliance is a sham. It is a big drama. The Congress is resorting to deception. The Congress is desperate to tie-up with the AIUDF and that is why it is using the excuse of a so-called grand alliance.�

He added, �The friendship between the Congress and AIUDF is nothing new. These two parties have always maintained good relations. The AIUDF refrained from fielding candidates in a number of constituencies in last year�s Lok Sabha polls, thus facilitating victory of the Congress in seats like Kaliabor and Nagaon. Similarly, a few months ago, Ajit Bhuyan got elected to the Rajya Sabha with joint support of these two parties. Both the Congress and AIUDF sympathise with and patronise illegal immigrants.�

Asked if any prospective Congress-led grand alliance will impact the ruling NDA�s prospects in the 2021 polls, Goswami replied in the negative.

�The Congress is getting totally exposed. People of Assam want development. And the voters have seen our work on the development and the social welfare fronts during past four years, as well as our government�s efforts to tackle the pandemic,� the BJP leader said.

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Opp parties welcome Cong plea for anti-NDA front

GUWAHATI, Aug 19 - The Congress� appeal for a �grand alliance� to take on the NDA in the 2021 Assembly elections in the State has been welcomed by other major opposition parties, even as the ruling BJP alleged that all talks of such a front are mere subterfuge so that the Congress can enter into a formal tie-up with the AIUDF.

�We welcome the decision of the Congress. There is an urgent need to remove the BJP from power for the sake of the future of Assam. The BJP government has failed on all fronts. Our party has been calling for an opposition alliance since some time and we are glad that the Congress has now formally endorsed that line,� AIUDF general secretary Aminul Islam told this newspaper.

He said that the AIUDF president Badruddin Ajmal is currently out of Assam and the party�s core committee would hold a meeting to discuss the Congress� proposal once Ajmal returns.

�For a grand alliance to become a reality we will need a common minimum programme (CMP). Our core committee meeting will look at the issue and we will respond to the Congress party�s proposal accordingly,� Islam said.

The Communist Party of India (CPI) said unity of all anti-BJP forces is necessary at this time.

�Since 2018, our party�s political line has been to call for unity all Left, democratic, �secular� and regional forces to take on the BJP. The position now taken by the Congress party seems reasonable. But some points, including the need for a CMP, have to be looked into,� CPI Assam state council secretary Munin Mahanta said.

Asked if the CPI will respond favourably to the Congress� appeal, Mahanta said, �We are ready to consider it, but let first Congress initiate discussion.�

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI (M) said that it welcomes any strategy which might prevent a split in the anti-BJP votes.

�We always welcome any step which will ensure that the anti-BJP votes are not fragmented. As the Congress has now publicly called for a grand alliance of opposition forces, we will deliberate upon it on our party forum. But before we arrive at any final decision, we will need to hold consultations with the other Left forces. The politics of Assam is now in a fluid state and we are keeping a keen eye on it,� CPI (M) central committee member Suprakash Talukdar said.

On being asked about Congress party�s appeal for an opposition grand alliance, State BJP chief spokesperson Rupam Goswami said, �All this talk of grand alliance is a sham. It is a big drama. The Congress is resorting to deception. The Congress is desperate to tie-up with the AIUDF and that is why it is using the excuse of a so-called grand alliance.�

He added, �The friendship between the Congress and AIUDF is nothing new. These two parties have always maintained good relations. The AIUDF refrained from fielding candidates in a number of constituencies in last year�s Lok Sabha polls, thus facilitating victory of the Congress in seats like Kaliabor and Nagaon. Similarly, a few months ago, Ajit Bhuyan got elected to the Rajya Sabha with joint support of these two parties. Both the Congress and AIUDF sympathise with and patronise illegal immigrants.�

Asked if any prospective Congress-led grand alliance will impact the ruling NDA�s prospects in the 2021 polls, Goswami replied in the negative.

�The Congress is getting totally exposed. People of Assam want development. And the voters have seen our work on the development and the social welfare fronts during past four years, as well as our government�s efforts to tackle the pandemic,� the BJP leader said.