RJD set to join grand alliance, contest election in Assam

The Rashtriya Janata Dal is likely to contest the upcoming Assembly election in Assam as a constituent of the Congress-led grand alliance.

Party leader Tejashwi Yadav, on a two-day visit to Assam, said he met State Congress president Ripun Bora and All India United Democratic Front chief Maulana Badruddin Ajmal. The Congress and AIUDF are the two major constituents of the grand alliance that also has three Left Front parties and the regional Anchalik Gana Morcha.

โ€œMy meeting with the Congress and AIUDF leaders was fruitful,โ€ Mr. Yadav told journalists in Guwahati on Saturday.

He said his party would be targeting about 5% Hindi-speaking people who have been living in Assam after migrating from other States. โ€œHindi speakers are a significant number in 11 constituencies. We will contest seats where the chances are high,โ€ he said.

โ€œOur effort in Assam will be to prevent the communal forces from forming the government. We will go to places where campaigning is required. We will also go to West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. We will place issues, which are in the interests of the country, in front of the people and let them decide,โ€ Mr. Yadav said.

He was critical of the Election Commission of India for scheduling an eight-phase election in West Bengal and a three-phase one in Assam. โ€œAssam usually had two-phase polls. Do the three phases this time mean the atmosphere is not good? If so, isnโ€™t the BJP-led government responsible?โ€ he said.

Mr. Yadav panned the BJP for taking the tea plantation workers for a ride. He also said BJPhas robbed the countryโ€™s constitutional bodies of their independence. โ€œThey brought the Citizenship (Amendment) Act by toying with the Constitution.โ€

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