Rahul Gandhi

The All India Congress Committee (AICC) will take the final call on joining hands with the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) for the Assam Assembly polls.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has reportedly conveyed this to the party leadership in Assam.

The Congress top brass on Monday held a discussion with the Assam Congress leaders via video-link, in what is being seen as a stocktaking exercise.

The meeting chaired by Gandhi was joined by AICC general secretaries Randeep Singh Surjewala, Mukul Wasnik, Ambika Soni, KC Venugopal, Assam in-charge Jitendra Singh and several other senior leaders.

Assam Congress president Ripun Bora, Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia, Rakibul Hussain, Mahila Congress president Sushmita Dev, MPs Gaurav Gogoi, Pradyut Bordoloi and Abdul Khaleque, and AICC secretaries Rana Goswami and Bhupen Bora also joined the meeting.

According to sources, Bora informed the party’s central leaders that they have decided to forge an alliance with the AIUDF.

He requested the party high command to take a decision on the alliance at the earliest.

However, Gandhi told him that the AICC will take a call on the alliance at an “appropriate time” as there was still enough time for the Assembly election in Assam.

According to an Assam Tribune report, Bora also sought help in terms of funds for the elections, only to be told by the central leadership that the AICC will arrange for it like in other BJP-ruled states.

He also advocated that sitting MLAs should be given preference during the allocation of party tickets.

Venugopal, meanwhile, said that the AICC was disappointed that the state party leadership was not able to rein in some of its MLAs, sources said.

Gandhi also advised the Assam Congress leaders to remain alert against speaking to the media out of turn.

The party should use the media and not the other way around, he suggested.

Sources said that Gandhi pointed to some recent fiasco over media statements by the Assam Congress leaders and asked Bora to control such utterances to the media by his party men.

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