After a week-long stay in Rajasthan, the Assam Assembly Election candidates of the Congress-AIUDF alliance returned to Assam on Friday.
The ‘Mahajot’ candidates, however, differ in their statements as to why they had to leave for Jaipur.
While some claim they were holidaying after weeks of campaigning, others say they went to seek blessings at the Ajmer Sharif Dargah. There were also apprehensions about the worsening Covid-19 situation in Rajasthan and the candidates feared they may not be able to reach Assam before May 2nd, the counting day.
Congress leader and Member of Parliament Jitender Singh and Debabrat Saikia, candidate from Nazira constituency, questioned the polling process followed in Assam and the role of the Election Commission of India in light of the EVM controversies that circled the recently concluded Assam elections.
“There will be no horse-trading from Congress and no candidate from Mahajot will join any other party”, said Jitendra Singh.
Questioned about the Mahajot candidate’s stay at Jaipur and if it implied that Congress has a lingering fear of horse-trading, he said “As far as I know, our candidates were tired after weeks of campaigning. Some candidates also wanted to visit Ajmer Sharif in my state. Many have already returned. “
“Today we will discuss how to remain alert on the day of counting so that the BJP is not able to put any undue pressure on the Election Commission. There is no horse-trading in Congress. Such instances did occur during the 2016 Assam Assembly Election. But we are certain nothing like that will happen this time,” said Debabrata Saikia.
While some candidates did not comment on the horse-trading claims, AIUDF general secretary Aminul Islam told a media house on Saturday that the Opposition candidates had to leave for Rajasthan fearing BJP’s trap of horse-trading. Reports also suggest that Mahajot candidates will be kept in isolation in two locations – Guwahati and Tezpur.
Congress candidates, today met at the Kiranshree hotel in Guwahati. Senior Congress leaders say this is part of an orientation program on delivering the five guarantees after the Mahajot alliance forms government in Assam.
Over 16 candidates from the Mahajot were shifted to a hotel in Jaipur on April 9 and were expected to stay there until May 2, when the election results are scheduled to be announced.