The Congress top brass as well as state leadership is up in arms against AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal after he claimed that senior leaders in Assam ‘exchanged bags’ with Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma after midnight.
Ajmal added that he shared a close relationship with several top Congress leaders and had access to meetings where even Congress chief Bhupen Kumar Borah was not allowed.
Reacting sharply to Ajmal’s comment, Rajya Sabha member and senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) chief was working for the BJP. In a statement issued from Punjab, Ramesh said Ajmal was a mouthpiece of the BJP like others in parties such as the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen.
“Ajmal has made the most unacceptable and totally bogus remarks against the Congress leadership in Assam. These are blatantly defamatory. It is true that Congress and the AIUDF fought the last (2021) assembly elections as an alliance. That decision had not been an easy one to take for Congress. But it was taken in the belief that Ajmal will be a consistent and reliable partner and who would strengthen secular forces in the state and in the country.
“But following the election results, Mr Ajmal and Assam’s Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma engaged in a pact to defame the Congress in the state. After the election results, it became very clear that Ajmal had worked out an understanding with the Chief Minister of Assam… with the sole purpose of maligning and defaming Congress and its leadership,” Ramesh said in an official statement.
APCC president Bhupen Bora, speaking exclusively to CNN-NEWS 18, said: “We have already decided that we will not contest with AIUDF as our alliance partner because their presence with us only defames Congress as they are communal. BJP is also a party that keeps dividing India in the name of Hindu-Muslim for vote bank. Their mission is to weaken the secularism of India. We already decided to not take them into alliance. But Ajmal wanted that in written, so we have given them that today. Ajmal knows without Congress, his party is nothing. So he is saying such things.”
Bora added: “Everyone knows who enjoys favouritism of chief minister — Congress or AIUDF. Ajmal and his brother keep praising Sarma as the best chief minister. Ask them why. Why did the CM announce an NIA investigation and then stop it in between? The BJP doesn’t want Muslim votes and AIUDF doesn’t want Hindu votes. BJP only wants Muslim votes to be divided between AIUDF and Congress as it will be beneficial to them. They are not actually against me, they are against the secularism of India.”
Sarma, meanwhile, took a dig at the row and said he did not know who Jairam Ramesh was.
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