Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has once again hit out at the Congress over its alliance with Badruddin Ajmal-led AIUDF, claiming that this will push the party back “by 50 years”.
“In the early 80s, the Congress got alienated from the people of Assam. It took the party 25 years, first with Hiteshwar Saikia and then Tarun Gogoi, to rebuild Congress in Assam, but by aligning with Ajmal, they have pushed the party back by another 50 years,” Mr Sarma told NDTV.
“Our question is, you have five guarantees, you have Rahul (Gandhi), Priyanka (Gandhi Vadra), so why do you need Ajmal?” he asked, referencing the Congress’s new five-guarantee campaign announced by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra earlier this month.
The AIUDF chief, in an exclusive interview to NDTV last week, had said he was the “only target” for the BJP since he could sway about 35 percent votes in Assam. In Assam, Muslim community accounts for about 35 percent of the voters.
BJP’s key strategist Sarma also said that Mr Ajmal hasn’t still adopted the Assamese culture fully, indicating that the Congress’s association with him was a bad move.
“In this election, our issue is not with the Congress. Our question is how can the Congress align with a migrant who has not even fully adopted the Assamese culture? Did anyone see Ajmal during Bihu? This election is entirely against Ajmal,” Mr.Sarma said.
The Congress, which is leading the Grand Alliance or “Mahajoth” in Assam, has been defending its tie up with Badruddin Ajmal, saying the AIUDF is “secular”.
Badruddin Ajmal has been tagged by the ruling BJP as “communal” and the party has been questioning the Congress on its alliance.
Electioneering is heating up for the three-phased poll in Assam. On Monday, BJP President JP Nadda attended poll rallies in Assam, On Sunday, there were rallies by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh.