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Lack Of Tie-up With Left May Split Secular Votes: Gogoi


Fighting perhaps the toughest electoral battle in his life, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi apprehends division of secular votes in the absence of an understanding with parties like the Left with whom he is not averse to having a post-poll tie up. However, he ruled out any post-poll tie up with AIUDF led by Badruddin Ajmal, the face of Bengali Muslims, who has been gaining in strength after every election.

The 81-year-old Congress veteran feels his party and Left parties should have formed an alliance before the polls to defeat the BJP. "Yes, some secular votes will be divided because of absence of any understanding between us (Congress and Left). We have the understanding now that we must defeat communal forces," Gogoi told PTI in an interview in the midst of his busy electioneering schedule.

He was responding to a query whether secular votes will get divided in the absence of a broad alliance between Congress, Left parties and some other like-minded parties. "Their (Left) ideology and our ideology are identical. They did not come to us and we also did not go to them for a seat sharing understanding. It (tie up) was possible with Left parties, but somehow it did not happen," said Gogoi fighting hard to get a fourth consecutive term in office.

Congress has entered into a pre-poll alliance with United People's Party (UPP) for four constituencies in Bodoland Territorial Area Districts, while six Left parties -- CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML)-Liberation, RSP, RCPI and Forward Block are fighting together in 59 seats across Assam.

The first phase of polling for 65 constituencies of Assam Assembly took place on April 4, while the second phase of voting for the remaining 61 seats will be held on April 11. Asked about his options in case of a hung verdict, Gogoi said: "We will analyse the post-poll scenario after the results are out. If there is anything like that, then I will prefer the support of the independents." .

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