Pranjal Bhuyan

GUWAHATI, Feb 10: A coordination committee to streamline decision making and formulate a joint electoral strategy of the six-party opposition ‘grand alliance’ for the Assembly elections will be formed soon, even as more time may be needed for a final seat-sharing formula to be arrived at among the constituents of the front.

“A coordination committee of the grand alliance will be constituted within the next three-four days. It will streamline the decision-making process. Each constituent party will have representatives in the committee. Any decision taken by the coordination committee will be final and will represent the collective view of all constituent units of the grand alliance,” a senior AIUDF leader told The Assam Tribune on Wednesday.

He added that the ‘junior’ constituents of the grand alliance have been pressing the Congress, which is the senior partner, to form the coordination committee at the earliest.

“However, there is a delay on the side of the Congress party. The State unit of Congress is waiting for the nod from the All India Congress Committee (AICC) before formally announcing the committee. We have asked the Congress party to fast track the process and they have agreed. Having the coordination committee in place will help us not only in jointly deciding the strategy for the elections but also in the seat-sharing process. Once the committee is in place, decisions can be taken promptly as all the parties will be represented in it. Disputes among alliance partners, on issues like seat allocation, could be resolved within the coordination committee. There will be no need to move back and forth to the forum of each individual party to discuss and decide matters,” said the AIUDF leader.

Asked about seat sharing, the AIUDF leader said, “Yesterday evening our party sat for preliminary discussions with the State Congress leadership. We will have another meeting soon during which both sides will submit their proposals regarding distribution of constituencies. Final seat sharing will need some time as detailed discussions are necessary. It cannot be carried out in a hurry. That is why we are demanding constitution of the coordination committee, as it will streamline the seat-sharing process.”

Meanwhile, the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) of the grand alliance is likely to be released by next week.

“We have submitted our inputs to the Congress party for inclusion in the CMP and they are now studying our suggestions,” said Communist Party of India (CPI) Assam State council member Dambaru Bora.

He added that the CPI has also asked the Congress to announce the coordination committee without further delay.

“We need to have a system in place for making joint strategies for the poll campaign, seat sharing and fast decision making, based on consensus among all parties. A coordination committee is ideal for that purpose,” said the CPI leader.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) or the CPI(M), which has already clarified that it will not be part of the CMP, has demanded that all constituents of the grand alliance issue an ‘open letter’ addressed to the citizens of Assam.

“It will be a sort of ‘informal’ manifesto highlighting the main issues and problems of the State and how we intend to deal with them,” CPI(M) State committee member Isfaqur Rahman said.