| Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi arrives for the press meet in Guwahati on Saturday. Picture by UB Photos |
Guwahati, April 9: Chief minister Tarun Gogoi today contradicted himself when he first denied the possibility of a post-poll tie-up with AIUDF and then quickly added that he would not reject the party’s offer if they propose such an arrangement.
“There is no chance of our alliance with AIUDF after election, but if they come with any offer to support us, how can we reject it?” Gogoi told reporters here at Rajiv Bhawan, on the last day of campaigning for the second phase of polling scheduled for Monday.
Gogoi’s statement assumes significance in light of the fact that the Opposition BJP had recently charged the Congress with having reached a secret understanding with the AIUDF. The Congress’s ally, the BPF, too, had threatened to stay out of the new government if AIUDF played a part in it.
He also denied that Ajmal had held a meeting with senior Congress leaders in New Delhi and brushed aside the BJP allegation that Ajmal had been promised the post of deputy chief minister. “We do not have any secret understanding with the AIUDF as reported in the media, and claimed by BJP, and Badruddin Ajmal has not been promised the post of deputy chief minister,” he said.
Gogoi, while calling BPF Congress’s “best friend” and asserting that the Bodo party would not go against it after the elections, said, “It is an example for the entire country that we are contesting election against each other despite being coalition partners,”
He also lambasted the BJP, the AGP and the AIUDF and termed the three Opposition parties as hypocrites for their “false charges” against the ruling Congress regarding c-orruption and about resolving the issue of illegal infiltration.
Gogoi came down heavily on Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, saying the latter, during campaigning in Assam, had tried to divide the people on religious lines for political gain. “We will not allow Modi-ism in Assam. He can win elections in Gujarat by resorting to rioting and killing innocents. As long as I am chief minister, I will not allow this to happen here,” Gogoi said.
On BJP’s charge that Congress was appeasing Bangladeshis for votes, Gogoi said, “We do not need a single Bangladeshi vote. To term the Indian Assamese citizens as Bangladeshis is an insult to the people of Assam. Though originally they were Bengali speaking, today they are adopting Assamese language and integrating with the society. We want to build a greater Assamese society,” he added.