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‘Will Support Any Non-BJP Govt At Centre Unconditionally’

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GUWAHATI, April 23: The AIUDF on Tuesday asserted that after the first phase of Lok Sabha elections, it is sensing that the BJP will not be able to retain power, and vowed to extend unconditional support to any non-BJP government at the Centre.

The Badruddin Ajmal-led party released its election manifesto for the Lok Sabha polls, reaffirming its opposition to Citizenship (Amendment) Act and Uniform Civil Code.

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Addressing a press conference after releasing the party’s election manifesto, AIUDF legislator Hafiz Rafiqul Islam said, “After the first phase of polling, we are sensing that the BJP will not retain power. We want a non-BJP government in Delhi and we will support it unconditionally.”

The party, in its manifesto, said it will pressurise the new government at the Centre to declare recurring Assam floods a national calamity, work for land rights of dwellers of riverine islands and called for equitable development of Barak Valley at par with Brahmaputra Valley.

It has fielded its candidates in Dhubri, Nagaon and Karimganj seats that are going to polls in the second phase on April 26.

“We are against the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act). Assam Accord, which has been accepted by all sections of people of the state, is in force here and the CAA practically negates it. We are fighting the CAA in the Supreme Court as well,” Islam said.

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The party also highlighted its opposition to the NDA government’s support for Uniform Civil Code (UCC), he said.

“All communities, religions have their own personal laws, customs and the Constitution allows it. Through the UCC, the BJP wants to impose its thoughts. We will never accept that,” the MLA added.

Islam exuded confidence that the AIUDF will win all the three constituencies it is contesting, pointing out that it had three MPs in the Lok Sabha in 2014, which came down to one in 2019, with Ajmal representing Dhubri.

He maintained that the focus of the party’s manifesto was comprehensive development of all sections, particularly the religious minorities, and various under-represented communities.

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Alleging that the BJP government has been acting in a discriminatory manner against Muslims, he said, “Muslims are not been given land pattas (documents) even though we are citizens and have equal rights. We will conduct survey of land in char (riverine island) areas and give pattas there.”

He said AIUDF will also push for similar surveys in non-char areas and allotment of land to landless local communities.

Islam also accused the government of discriminating against Bengali-dominated Barak Valley, which has a substantial Muslim population, in southern Assam.

“There should be equitable development of Barak and Brahmaputra valleys. The kind of communication network and industrialisation is happening in Brahmaputra Valley should happen in Barak Valley as well,” he said.

Barak Valley comprises of three districts of Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj, with Silchar being the largest city in the valley.

A majority of the state’s population, however, live in Brahmaputra Valley and major cities and economic and cultural hubs, including Guwahati, Bongaigaon, Jorhat, Tezpur, Dibrugarh, Sivasagar and Tinsukia, are located in this region. It is populated by Assamese people, both Hindus and Muslims, Bengali-speaking Muslims and Hindus, Bodos, tea tribes and various other communities.

He said the AIUDF will pressurise the new central government to declare the state’s flood and erosion problems as “national calamity” and work for permanent solution to these issues.

The party’s manifesto also highlights its emphasis on issues of tea garden workers, quality education for all and women security, among others, he added. (PTI)

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