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AIUDF sticks to tried and tested

Party retains two MLAs in first list

Badruddin Ajmal shows the candidates’ list during a news conference in Guwahati on Thursday. (PTI)

Guwahati, March 13: The All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) today nominated two of its MLAs for the Lok Sabha election, going back on its earlier decision of leaving them out of the equation.

Announcing the AIUDF’s first list of candidates here this afternoon, its president Badruddin Ajmal said the party had tweaked its earlier decision in order to field strong candidates against the Congress and the BJP in view of the changing political scenario. “We felt the need to field our MLAs in some of the Lok Sabha constituencies to defeat forces like the Congress and the BJP,” he said.

The party had earlier decided not to give tickets to its 18 legislators to contest the Lok Sabha election. The decision had offended the party MLA from Barak Valley, Ataur Rahman Mazarbhuiya, and he openly revolted against Ajmal.

Mazarbhuiya, an aspirant for Silchar Lok Sabha seat, was suspended from the AIUDF for an indefinite period last month for not casting his vote in the February 7 Rajya Sabha polls despite the party’s instruction.

Mazarbhuiya alleged that he had been suspended because he had opposed Ajmal’s autocratic way of running the party, like not fielding MLAs in Lok Sabha polls. He said Ajmal had now changed his decision because it suited him.

The change in AIUDF’s decision is seen as Ajmal’s ploy to field his brother Sirajuddin Ajmal, legislator from Jamunamukh in Nagaon district, as a candidate from Barpeta Lok Sabha seat in lower Assam. The AIUDF’s grassroots workers have been opposing Sirajuddin’s candidature, as he is not from Barpeta.

The AIUDF has also fielded Gopi Nath Das, MLA from Boko in Kamrup district, as its candidate for Guwahati Lok Sabha seat.

Denying allegations of nepotism, Ajmal said his brother had already proved to be a good legislator. “Now the party has decided to entrust him with the job of a parliamentarian to raise Assam’s issues at a bigger platform.”

The decision of giving a ticket to Sirajuddin has not gone down well. This was evident when a person, who identified himself as an AIUDF worker, disrupted the news conference and asked Ajmal to give the ticket for Barpeta to Sherman Ali Ahmed, the AIUDF MLA from Baghbar constituency in Barpeta district.

Ajmal denied reports that the party was planning to field a weak candidate from Kaliabor constituency to ensure the victory of Congress candidate Gaurav Gogoi, son of Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi.

The AIUDF has decided to field candidates in 10 seats in Assam and eight in West Bengal, where it is fighting its maiden election. The party today announced the names of five candidates for Assam and all the eight for West Bengal.

Besides Sirajuddin and Gopi Nath Das, Ajmal will contest the polls from Dhubri, Aditya Langthasa from Nagaon and Mamun Imdad Haq Choudhury from Lakhimpur.

In West Bengal, the AIUDF has fielded Siddiqullah Choudhury from Basirhat, Pradip Ghosh from Srirampur, Sadek Ali Sarkar from Balurghat, Abdul Khalek from Malda (North), Hafiz Nazrul Islam from Malda (South), Taranga Mandal from Joynagar, Syed Zamirul Hasan from Raiganj and Anisur Rahman from Uluberia.

“I do not want say anything on the party’s chances of victory in Bengal or in Assam,” Ajmal said.


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