Mahajot members trade blame for Assam loss


While the AIUDF held the Congress responsible, the latter pointed to a division of votes by the Raijor Dal-Assam Jatiya Parishad

Perfume baron Badruddin Ajmal’s All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) has attributed the electoral loss of the 10-party Mahajot or grand alliance in Assam to the failure of the Congress to put up a good show.

Congress, on the other hand, blamed it on the regional front of Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) and Raijor Dal that together contested more than 90 seats but managed to win only one — Sibsagar, which went to Akhil Gogoi, the outfit’s president.

The Mahajot ended up with 50 seats, four of them won by Bodoland People’s Front.

“We gave up many seats for the sake of the grand alliance but while we won 16 out of the 20 that we contested, the Congress managed 29 out of 95 contested. We don’t want to engage in a blame game, but the fact is Congress failed to do well in eastern Assam and the northern bank of the Brahmaputra River,” AIUDF general secretary (organisation), Md. Aminul Islam told The Hindu on Tuesday.

He was among the 16 AIUDF candidates who won. He had contested the Mankachar seat.

Other AIUDF leaders pointed out that 16 of the 29 Congress candidates are Muslims. “This indicates Congress benefited because of the AIUDF’s support base in minority areas,” a leader said.

Jitendra Singh, the AICC general secretary in charge of Assam said Congress lost at least 10 seats because of the AJP-Raijor Dal factor. The two parties ate up a sizeable chunk of votes against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the Congress felt.

Congress had ahead of the three-phase polls asked the AJP-Raijor Dal to join the Mahajot bandwagon because of the anti-CAA stand. The latter rejected the offer saying a national party like Congress was no different from the BJP.

The BJP rubbished the claim that it had propped up the AJP-Raijor Dal strategically. “Rather, these two parties prevented us from getting more than the 37 seats we won across the eastern half of Assam,” a BJP leader in eastern Assam said.

The AJP-Raijor Dal too trashed the allegation that they were the BJP’s ‘B-team’.

“The BJP won because of religious polarisation and the failure of Congress in convincing the people,” Raijor Dal leader Bhasco de Saikia said.

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