Guwahati: As a further development to the hint given by Congress' Lok Sabha MP Gaurav Gogoi on Friday on going "independent of the Grand Alliance", Assam Congress on Monday announced that it has decided to break ties with Badruddin Ajmal-led AIUDF and the Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF).
A Core Committee meeting presided over by state Congress President Bhupen Bora, observed that the AIUDF's behaviour and attitude in relation to the ruling BJP have "baffled" his party.
"The AIUDF (All India United Democratic Front) leadership and senior members continuously and mysteriously praising the BJP and the Chief Minister (Himanta Biswa Sarma) has affected the public perception of the Congress, Congress's chief spokesperson Bobbeeta Sharma said.
She informed that the Core Committee members of the APCC (Assam Pradesh Congress Committee) after a long discussion unanimously decided that the AIUDF can no longer remain an alliance partner of 'Mahajot' and in this regard, will send intimation to the AICC."
She also added that at Monday's meeting, a discussion was also held with regard to the alliance with the Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF).
"Since the BPF had already expressed their unwillingness in various forums to remain in the 'Mahajot', therefore the APCC President has been given full authority to take a decision on this matter and intimate the High Command," Sharma said.
The meeting also endorsed the earlier decision of giving full authority to the state president, working presidents and chairman of the legislative assembly committees constituted for the forthcoming by-polls to decide on election strategy and candidate selections, she said
Meanwhile, AIUDF reacted that the unilateral decision of Congress is unfortunate.
AIUDF legislature party leader Hafiz Bashir Ahmed in a statement said the Congress's unilateral decision to remove the party from the alliance was "unfortunate" as it is the need of the hour for secular and democratic parties to remain united and "intensify efforts to keep the communal BJP in check".
"The Alliance should not be weakened due to the personal views of a few persons. The AIUDF has always opposed the BJP's communal policies and will continue to do so in the future. The Congress should not create a divide in the alliance but consider ways to strengthen it," Ahmed added.
Earlier on Friday, hinting at the breakup of Grand Alliance, Congress MP from Kaliabor, Gaurav Gogoi had pointed out the need to strengthen the organisation of the party across the state, including in those constituencies where there are MLAs of the Alliance,
According to his statement, Congress may still consult other opposition parties in the Assam state assembly if and when the BJP government brings anti-people policies.
Besides the Congress, AIUDF and BPF, the alliance which was formed ahead of this year's assembly elections in the state comprised the Jimochayan (Deori) People's Party (JDPP), Adivasi National Party (ANP), CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML), Anchalik Gana Morcha, and the RJD. The 10-party 'Grand Alliance' or 'Mahajot' had won 50 seats in total.
While the Congress, which governed Assam for 15 years (2001-2016), managed 29 seats in the March-April elections, three more than 2016 polls, when it lost Assam to the BJP. Of the other partners of the alliance, the AIUDF won 16 seats up from 13 last time, the BPF got four seats against 12, and the Communist Party of India-Marxist won just one seat.