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Campaign snag

Badruddin Ajmal’s decision to campaign by helicopter in Dhubri Lok Sabha constituency hit a snag after the chopper being used for the process developed technical glitches at Porabhita sar village in Dhubri district on Thursday.

The AIUDF candidate for the Dhubri seat was to address a whirlwind 21 rallies in seven days from Tuesday, but till now he has been able to reach only six spots.

President of the AIUDF Dhubri district unit, Aminur Rahman Ahmed, said the helicopter campaign had to be cancelled following technical glitches but Ajmal would resume his campaign after the chopper was repaired. ‘The chopper is being repaired and in case it does not become functional, another chopper will be brought in and Hazoor sab (Ajmal) will resume his campaign.’

Dhubri AIUDF MLA, Jahan Uddin, said, ‘Engineers who reached Porabhita sar village are carrying out repairs. If another chopper is not hired by Saturday, the rest of the campaign will have to be re-scheduled on roads and boats.’

Party sources said Ajmal has addressed six rallies, including Chandakhola and Pratapganj in Dhubri Assembly constituency, and he was to address four more in Dhubri subdivision, but now the whole programme will have to be replanned.

Supporters are visibly upset over the development. The vice-president of the South Salmara AIUDF unit, Solaiman Haque, said the rallies were drawing huge crowds and supporters were able to hear Ajmal speak in remotest areas where road links are not available.

‘Making direct contact with voters is only possible by helicopter as there are numerous sars (river islands) in Dhubri Lok Sabha constituency and campaigning by car is not possible. Now, it has become tough for Hazoor sab to reach out to voters in such a short time,’ he said.

Haque, however, hoped some alternative would be found to make sure that Ajmal reaches the rally venues. A party source said Ajmal has decided to campaign by car for his younger brother Sirajuddin, who is contesting from the Barpeta Lok Sabha seat.

File picture shows Ajmal and his brother during such a helicopter campaign in Barpeta