GUWAHATI: Assam’s two bitter rivals for 15 years, Congress and billionaire perfume baron Maulana Badruddin Ajmal’s All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) joined hands for the first time to put up anti-CAA activist and an editor, Ajit Kumar Bhuyan as their consensus candidate for Rajya Sabha election in the state.
“Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Maulan Badruddin Ajmal have approved Ajit Kumar Bhuyan as the common candidate of both Congress and AIUDF. The decision was taken in the backdrop of the present situation in Assam, where an anti-BJP and anti-CAA environment prevails and is spearheading the mass movement by various groups and the civil society,” Assam Pradesh Congress president and MP Ripun Bora said.
Soon after Bhuyan’s name was announced in New Delhi, BJP leader and Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma hit back saying that Bhuyan has insulted the intellectual fraternity of the state by choosing to take Ajmal’s support.
“Now, it looks like that Bhuyan was opposing the CAA with an eye on the Rajya Sabha ticket. He has been always expressing his views in the interest of Assamese nationality and surprisingly now he has chosen to seek Ajmal’s support. He has insulted all the intellectuals of the state and it seems that has actually been speaking on behalf of Ajmal,” Sarma said.
Earlier the state Congress president said that people of Assam wanted a person who opposes CAA to be the opposition candidate. “Neither Congress nor AIUDF has enough numbers in the legislative assembly to get their respective candidates win a seat in Rajya Sabha on their own. People of Assam opposing BJP and CAA wanted us to join hands and field one common candidate in the interest of Asamese nationality. The people requested us to nominate a candidate who has the Assamese nationality sentiments.”
“We decided that at this hour of crisis Congress and AIUDF should rise above our respective party interests and sacrifice our chance of winning the seat and chose a neutral person as our common candidate,” Bora said.
Bhuyan, who was recently heading a private cable TV channel as editor-in-chief quit amid the anti-CAA protests in the state. Bhuyan has been one of the leading voices among several editors and journalists opposing the controversial central act.
Election will be held for three Rajya Sabha seats in the state on March 26. BJP and its allies will contest in two seats.

Source link