Congress secures AIUDF’s support for Assam RS seat after poll debacle | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Congress secures AIUDF’s support for Assam RS seat after poll debacle

By, New Delhi
Mar 21, 2022 05:36 AM IST

The Congress on Saturday announced the nomination of its sitting Rajya Sabha member Ripun Bora, a former president of the party’s state unit

The Congress party, which is set to lose seven seats in the Rajya Sabha this year, has secured the support of Badruddin Ajmal’s All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) for one of the two Upper House seats in Assam that will be up for grabs in the biennial polls in April.

Congress’s strength in the House is set to shrink to 28 from the current tally of 34, owing to a string of election losses (HT File)
Congress’s strength in the House is set to shrink to 28 from the current tally of 34, owing to a string of election losses (HT File)

The Congress on Saturday announced the nomination of its sitting Rajya Sabha member Ripun Bora, a former president of the party’s state unit. The other sitting Congress MP from Assam, Rani Narah, is likely to miss out on another term.

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A senior Congress strategist said the party had reached out to Badruddin Ajmal for an understanding. “Assam is an example of how we will not lose any opportunity to win a Rajya Sabha seat,” the leader said, requesting anonymity.

Biennial elections for a total of 75 seats will be held this year. While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to be the biggest gainer with an additional 10 seats, the Congress’s strength in the House is set to shrink to 28 from the current tally of 34, owing to a string of election losses — including in Assam (in 2021) — in the recent years.

The BJP’s biggest gain will come from Uttar Pradesh, where 11 Rajya Sabha seats are up for grabs this year. The Congress will face its biggest loss in Punjab after it lost the state to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) earlier this month.

In the 126-member Assam legislative assembly, the Congress has 27 seats but with the support of AIUDF (15 MLAs) and CPIM (one), it would be able to fight for one seat against the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) that has 82 MLAs.

Congress has usually kept a distance from the AIUDF as the latter thrives on the support base of Bengali-speaking Muslims of the state. But time and again, the AIUDF has backed the Congress, be it supporting the Manmohan Singh government during the trust vote in 2008 necessitated by the Indo-US nuclear deal, or supporting Bora’s candidature for the Rajya Sabha seat.

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