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AIUDF mulls tie-up with AGP

- Eye on Barak rural body

Silchar, Feb. 18: AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal today hinted at the possibility of his party joining hands with the AGP to claim a majority in the 20-seat Karimganj zilla parishad, the results for which were declared last night.

The party has won nine seats in the district, while the AGP has won one. The Congress, too, has won nine seats there.

Ajmal, who arrived in Karimganj yesterday, today met the president of the AGP district unit, Nazrul Islam Choudhury, at the latter’s residence at Kanishail village. Sources said he sought Choudhury’s help to bring his daughter-in-law, Sultana Begum, into the AIUDF fold. Sultana has won as an Independent candidate from the district’s Sarisha zilla parishad seat.

If the AIUDF manages to rope in these two seats (AGP and Sultana), the alliance would attain a simple majority, allowing it to form the zilla parishad.

Ajmal today said he would next campaign in the Algapur Assembly constituency in Hailakandi district, where an Assembly bypoll, necessitated by the sudden death of AGP stalwart and the former minister Shahidul Alam Choudhury in November, is scheduled for February 24. He said he would campaign there for four days along with 18 legislators, seeking votes for his party candidate Mehebubul Hasan Laskar.

However, a question doing rounds here is whether Ajmal would withdraw Laskar’s candidature if the AGP, while joining hands with his party to form the Karimganj zilla parishad, insists on backing of their candidate, Kamrul Islam, in the bypoll.

Political observers here feel that if this alliance clicks in the district, it may be the beginning of a new tactical understanding between the two parties in Assam that could effect the future of the state’s politics.

The panchayat poll results for Cachar and Hailakandi, the other two Barak Valley districts, were also declared. Counting for one seat is still on, the result expected late tonight.

The Congress has won 31 of the 58 zilla parishad seats in Barak Valley, AIUDF has bagged 14 while the AGP has managed only two — one each in Hailakandi and Karimganj. The BJP managed to win only four seats, while Left slate was wiped clean.

The panchayat election in Barak Valley has made it clear that Congress continues to be a leading force here, though the party suffered in the Barkhola and Lakhipur Assembly constituencies.

While in Borkhola, the Congress lost two zilla parishad seats despite strong campaigning by party MLA Rumi Nath, in Lakhipur, the party’s tea labour strongman D.P. Goala’s charisma failed to work, resulting in loss of two seats.