Assam post poll rumblings: Ajmal for Third Front to check BJP
Widely perceived as a possible 'kingmaker' in the case of a hung verdict in the Assam elections, All India United Front (AIUDF) chief Badruddin Ajmal favours a secular front of parties comprising Congress, AGP, BPF and his own with a few others to prevent BJP from forming the next government.
He even goes on to suggest that Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, whose party AGP is in alliance with BJP, be the next chief minister.
"All these parties must come together to form the Third Front Alliance as this is the only way to keep the communal BJP out of power and save Assam and its people," Ajmal told PTI in an interview.
He claims his party is expected to win over 30 seats and will have a major say in the formation of the next government.
Claiming to be the 'kingmaker' in the next government, Ajmal said, "Without us, no party can form the government in the state. It is the party we support that can form the government and AIUDF's importance cannot be denied."
Asked whether he aspires to be the next chief minister of the state, he said, "I am not dreaming to be the chief minister. My ideal choice for the post is former two-time AGP chief minister Mahanta.
Referring to AGP-BPF pre-poll alliance with BJP, the Dhubri MP said, "As per my knowledge, AGP has a covert understanding with Congress and an overt alliance with BJP which I think is due to financial reasons.
"AGP will be the maximum gainer in this election. If they had fought the elections on their own, they would not have got more than five or six seats but with BJP's financial support, they are expected to win 10 to 12 seats."
AIUDF, the largest Opposition party with 18 seats in the outgoing assembly, has formed an alliance with JD (U) and RJD although these two parties do not have any significant presence in the state.
AIUDF also invited Congress and AGP into the alliance in its attempt to create a "mahagatbandhan" on the lines of Bihar elections to defeat BJP, but it did not succeed.
According to Ajmal, BPF leader Hagrama Mohilary has time and again said he will go with whichever party forms the government in Assam.
He also expressed confidence that Congress with the intervention of the party's central leadership will also join the Third Front and bring its ally United Peoples' Party (UPP) within the alliance.
Result of the election to the 126-member Assam Assembly will be declared on May 19.