NEW DELHI, March 29 - Under attack for allegedly aligning with Badruddin Ajmal, Congress president Rahul Gandhi today directed the Assam Congress unit not to have any truck with the AIUDF.
The directive came at a meeting between the Congress president and Assam Congress leaders including APCC president Ripun Bora and State Opposition leader Debabrata Saikia this morning.
Gandhi, meanwhile, has finalised the list of the remaining four candidates, rejecting the panel of names suggested by the Assam Congress.
The final list includes Abu Taher Bepari (Dhubri), Abdul Khaleque (Barpeta), Sabda Rabha (Kokrajhar) and Bobbeeta Sharma (Guwahati).
The panel list prepared by the Assam Congress had included the names of Abdur Rezzak (Dhubri), Abdur Rouf (Barpeta), Durga Das Boro (Kokrajhar) and Ramen Borthakur (Guwahati).
As reported by this newspaper, the Congress Election Committee on Thursday asked APCC chief Bora to revise the list and prepare a fresh panel of names. The State Congress leaders later held a meeting with AICC general secretary Venugopal and drafted the fresh list.
Sources said that Gandhi was upset with the State leadership for keeping the AICC in the dark about the �secret understanding� with the AIUDF. The Congress president asked Bora why he did not inform the AICC beforehand.
Gandhi then directed both Bora and Saikia not to go ahead with the proposal, making it clear that the Congress would have no truck with Ajmal.
Sources said that several members of the CEC objected to the alliance with the AIUDF on Thursday, with Mohsina Kidwai stressing that the Congress should oppose Ajmal �as he always blackmails the Congress ahead of the polls�. Several other members raised objections and advised the State leaders not to forge any alliance with the AIUDF, the sources added.
Meanwhile, there have been reactions among those who did not get party tickets. Reacting to the selection of candidates, former Rajya Sabha member Dwijen Sarma said that senior leaders of the party had been ignored, which would send a wrong signal. �In my case, I have been working in the Mangaldai constituency for the last three years and a year back, I was told that my ticket was assured. However, in the last few days I noticed that there was a change of stand,� he said.
�I also sought the ticket to contest from the Guwahati Lok Sabha seat as I belong to the city, but my case was not considered. The party has given the ticket to a candidate who lost the last Assembly election. We have heard that there was exchange of money,� Sarma alleged.