Guwahati, Dec. 23: The rift in the ruling Congress over an electoral tie-up with the Assam United Democratic Front widened today with senior leaders deciding to move the high command for a deal with the minority party, that plans to launch a third front.
While Veerappa Moily, he AICC in-charge of Assam, had rolled out a red carpet for the AUDF leaders to return to the party fold, chief minister Tarun Gogoi, on the other hand, has been indifferent to their return.
It is very unfortunate that despite the efforts of the high command, the uncooperative attitude of some of our state leaders have led to a stalemate. Till now there has been no headway in our discussions with the AUDF , said a senior Congress leader.
Several Congress members of the Lok Sabha members from the state and aspirant candidates are worried that strong AUDF candidates will affect their electoral fate by cutting into their traditional Muslim vote bank.
Another Congress leader said the caste and community equation could play a crucial role in the state in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, as there is no single issue to sway the voters.
The leader said the AUDF could upset the Congress applecart at least in five seats now in the partys kitty, while in three others, it could cause major damage to the partys chance of wresting them.
Apart from the five seats, the AUDF has a strong presence in Mangaldoi, Nagaon and Lakhimpur.
Without naming them, the leader hinted that the five MPs, after learning about the AUDF move, decided to intensify their lobbying for the front in New Delhi.
The fronts leader, Badruddin Ajmal, had already initiated dialogue with the Left and parties like the NCP to float a third front in the state.
A senior AUDF leader said the party took the decision to form a third front after it had received a cold shoulder from an influential section of PCC leaders.
The AUDF had decided to launch the front in Guwahati on Sunday.