Bihar CM Nitish Kumar.

Nitish Kumar-led JD (U) has identified 32 out of 126 seats in Assam where the party is likely to field candidates in the upcoming Assembly polls.

The party had contested four seats in the 2016 Assembly polls in Assam but drew a blank.

In 2020, the JD (U) became a recognised state party in Arunachal Pradesh where it won seven seats in the Assembly election.

In Tripura, where Assembly elections are due in 2023, the JD (U) has started strengthening its organizational set-up.

“We want to capitalise on the sentiments prevailing against the All-India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) of Badruddin Ajmal. The BJP is a strong force in the state but it hardly fields candidates against Ajmal’s party,” HT quoted JD (U) national secretary and in-charge for the northeast, Sanjay Verma as saying.

“What has added to our belief of a better performance in these two states is that people have great respect and trust on Nitish Kumar,” he said.

Verma said the development works done by Kumar, especially in Assam’s Nagaon district, during his tenure as Union railway minister when rail lines were laid for over 120 km, is still remembered by people.

“This rail line became the lifeline for many and they profusely thank him for this,” Verma said.

He added that people believe in the party’s secular credential, which will certainly pay rich dividends in the polls.

Verma also claimed that the JD (U) plans to cash in on “sentiments against the AIUDF”.

The JDU leader said the party has identified at least 32 seats in districts such as Nagaon, Tinsukia and Barpeta and to encash sentiments against the AIUDF.

“The Congress’s presence in Assam is virtually negligible and the AIUDF has also lost the people’s trust. A final decision will be taken by the senior party leaders,” he said.

Verma said many young Muslims have been inducted recently into the party in Assam.

“They will have an added advantage of the party’s secular image under Nitish Kumar’s leadership,” he said.

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