Guwahati: The Congress’ Assam unit on Tuesday refused to spell out whether or not it will contest the forthcoming bye-elections in the state by allying with other parties, though it said the state leadership is against continuing with the Grand Alliance that it had led in the assembly polls held earlier this year.

Five assembly seats are now lying vacant due to deaths and resignations of MLAs while another legislator who became a Union minister is yet to quit his membership in the House.

In politics, nothing is absolute in terms of working together. We cannot say that doors of friendship or alliance are closed forever in politics, Bora told reporters here ahead of a meeting with party candidates who had contested this year’s assembly election unsuccessfully.

To a pointed question if the Congress will forge any alliance for the bye-elections, he said, it is neither yes nor no at the moment. “Currently, we are concentrating on strengthening our party base especially in the seats where bye-polls are due,” he added.

Two MLAs of the Congress and one of the AIUDF have joined the BJP and resigned from the assembly. One legislator each of the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) and the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) died. The sixth seat is likely to fall vacant when former Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal resigns as he has joined the Union Cabinet as a minister.

Bora said the party’s state leadership is not in favour of continuing to be a part of the 10-party Grand Alliance and the decision has been conveyed to the central leadership by him.

He said the BJP, which had also led an alliance in the assembly polls, bagged 60 seats, while the Congress managed only 29 in the 126-member House.

We have to change the formula for our party to increase its tally. Our party leadership is in agreement with it, he added.

The 10-party Grand Alliance was formed ahead of this year’s assembly elections in the state. Besides the Congress, AIUDF and Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF), it comprised the Jimochayan (Deori) People’s Party (JDPP), Adivasi National Party (ANP), CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML), Anchalik Gana Morcha, and the RJD. The alliance had won 50 seats in the assembly polls with the Congress securing 29, AIUDF 16, BPF four and the CPI(M) one.

On August 30, the Congress decided to snap ties with the AIUDF and the BPF.

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