The resurgence of the COVID-19 virus in Rajasthan has prompted Assam’s AIUDF to recall its leaders – who contested last week’s Assembly election – sequestered at Jaipur’s Fairmont Hotel amid fears the BJP would lure them away ahead of next month’s results, party sources said Friday.
The recall order was preceded by the return of the AIUDF’s Karim Uddin Barbhuiya, who was on the ballot in Sonai in Cachad district, two days ago.
Rajasthan, where the Congress – an ally of the Maulana Badruddin Ajmal-led AIUDF (All India United Democratic Front) – is in power, has reported a spike in Covid cases in the past few weeks.
The state logged 480 cases on March 24 but by April 2 was reporting over 1,000 per day. And since April 9 the state has logged record highs every day, with over 6,600 detected today.
The AIUDF candidates sent to Rajasthan were from the Congress-led opposition alliance in Assam. Other alliance members include the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) and some smaller parties.
They were kept at the resort the Congress holed up its MLAs in July last year – during the party’s internal crisis and fight between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot, his former deputy.
One member of the BPF – who had been nominated from the Tamulpur constituency – has already jumped ship to the BJP, although this was five days before third phase of polling on April 6.
The BJP has also rushed to sequester its candidates – moving them from Assam to Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh – to ward off, they say, poaching from rival parties.
The Congress-led opposition alliance – known as the Mahajot – is contesting against the ruling BJP, which has allied with the Asom Gana Parishad and the United People’s Party Liberal.
Assam voted in three phases and results will be declared on May 2.