Congress claims cross-voting by AIUDF in Assam Rajya Sabha polls

The Congress on Saturday alleged that the AIUDF carried out cross-voting in the recently held Rajya Sabha elections in Assam and cast its vote in favor of the candidates of the ruling BJP-led alliance, resulting in the defeat of the joint opposition candidate. Addressing a press conference here, Leader of Opposition Devvrat Saikia said, “We want to clarify that out of 27 Congress MLAs, 25 voted for our joint candidate. One vote was disqualified while the other voted for the ruling party.” Voted for the coalition candidate.”

The disqualified vote was for Siddiqui Ahmed and the other by Shashi Kanta Das, who had already announced that he would support the candidates of the ruling coalition. Both the MLAs have been suspended from Congress.

Elections for two Rajya Sabha seats from Assam were held on Thursday with the ruling coalition’s candidates, Pabitra Margherita and Ravangra Narzari, emerging winners against sitting MP and joint opposition candidate Ripun Bora.

Margherita got 46 and Narzari got 44 votes, while Bora got only 35 votes. All 126 members of the Assembly voted, with one vote being disqualified.

Saikia claimed that all the other 25 Congress MLAs had voted for Bora, as did the CPI(M) MLA and an independent MLA, totaling 27 votes out of 35 that Bora got.

Pointing to the AIUDF, he said, “The party which had assured 15 votes, gave only eight votes in our favor and the rest went elsewhere.”

Saikia also pointed out that Congress has moved a breach of privilege motion in the state assembly over alleged remarks by BJP MLAs inside as well as outside the House that Congress MLAs had voted for candidates of the ruling coalition.

“The Speaker has assured us to look into it,” he said.

The senior Congress leader questioned the AIUDF naming its agent for the elections without consulting other parties in the opposition camp.

“He mysteriously announced his polling agent without informing us. Why he did this remains an enigma to me,” he said.

Saikia said Prithviraj Sathe, the Congress agent for the election, was named by the party’s central leadership, which was authorized by the state legislature party to nominate a polling agent.

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