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AIUDF to contest 7 seats, may field new faces in Barpeta, Karimganj
PRANJAL BHUYAN
 GUWAHATI, March 12 - The All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) is likely to opt for new faces from Barpeta and Karimganj constituencies in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Sources said that sitting MP from Barpeta constituency Sirajuddin Ajmal and Karimganj MP Radheshyam Biswas are unlikely to be re-nominated by the party this time.

“It is 99 per cent certain that both Barpeta and Karimganj will feature new faces. In case of Barpeta, our sitting MP Sirajuddin Ajmal has been unwell for some time and it is being difficult for him to carry on with his regular duties as a parliamentarian,” a senior AIUDF office-bearer told The Assam Tribune.

The party has zeroed in on Rafiqul Islam, former MLA from Jania Assembly constituency, as replacement for Sirajuddin Ajmal.

“Islam is likely to be our candidate from Barpeta in the Lok Sabha elections. He has acceptability among both the party workers and the electorate of the constituency,” said the AIUDF leader.

The Badruddin Ajmal-led party may also deny ticket to Biswas, who is the sitting MP from Karimganj.

“There are already reports that Biswas is maintaining discreet ties with the Congress. Our party recently issued a showcause notice to Biswas for a controversial remark he allegedly made regarding the Congress. Let’s see if he bothers to issue a reply,” said the source.

The names of Rajesh Mallah, Gautam Das and Lalit Mohan Suklabaidya are doing the rounds and AIUDF is likely to opt for one of them as its nominee for the Karimganj constituency this time.

AIUDF is planning to put up candidates from at least seven constituencies in the coming elections.

It had secured three out of the 14 Lok Sabha seats from Assam in the 2014 parliamentary polls. It had won from Dhubri, Barpeta and Karimganj. Dhubri MP and party president Badruddin Ajmal is sure to contest once again from the seat.

Meanwhile, AIUDF’s official list of candidates for the general elections is expected to be announced sometime next week.

“We are waiting for the Congress to first declare its list. Besides, we are also waiting to see how the ‘negotiations’ between the BJP and the AGP fare. Anyway, our party does not have much stake in the constituencies, barring Kaliabor, which will go to polls in the first phase on April 11. Our main base is in constituencies that will go to the ballot in the second and third phases,” he said.

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