Ni­tish plays peace­maker to form a Bi­har-style al­liance in As­sam

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Au­rangzeb Naqsh­bandi au­rangzeb.naqsh­bandi@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: JD- U leader Ni­tish Ku­mar is play­ing the peace­maker be­tween sworn en­e­mies Congress and All In­dia United Demo­cratic Front ( AIUDF) in an at­tempt at cob­bling to­gether a Bi­har-style grand al­liance in As­sam to thwart the BJP’s ag­gres­sive bid for cap­tur­ing power in the north­east state.

As­sem­bly elec­tions in As­sam are due early next year and the BJP is making se­ri­ous at­tempts to cap­ture power in the state for the first time.

Per­fume baron-turned politi­cian Badrud­din Aj­mal had float- ed the AIUDF as an al­ter­na­tive to the Congress which he had ac­cused of “us­ing” the state’s size­able Mus­lims pop­u­la­tion as merely a vote bank.

Chief min­is­ter Tarun Go­goi had ear­lier fa­mously dis­missed the fledg­ling AIUDF with a curt “Who is Badrud­din Aj­mal?” barb, seen as the be­gin­ning of the bit­ter turf war be­tween the two par­ties.

Ku­mar, who van­quished the BJP in the high- stakes Bi­har as­sem­bly re­cently, has sug­gested a com­pro­mise for­mula so that the Congress and the AIUDF can fight the March-April elec­tions as al­liance part­ners and pre­vent any di­vi­sion of votes.

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