In perhaps the first development of its kind, 22 candidates of the Congress-led 10-party Grand Alliance (Mahajot) of Assam were on Friday (April 9) shifted to Jaipur.
According to reports, they were all taken in a special Indigo Airlines plane from Guwahati to Jaipur where they were put up at a hotel in the outskirts of the Pink City. Congress sources said that the move has been taken to nip in the bud any effort by the BJP of possible horse-trading after May 2 election result. As it is going to be a close finish, the Congress party fears the repeat of Goa, Karnataka or even Madhya Pradesh type move by the BJP.
This is the first time that not the MLAs, but the candidates, have been shifted out of the state.
Interestingly, the candidates belonged to All India United Democratic Front, Left parties and at least one of the Bodoland People’s Front. A couple of them are of Congress too but their number could not be known.
The Congress sources said that the entire cost would be borne by the party though most of the candidates are of the alliance partner.
Reports also said that some BPF candidates have been kept at a place in Kokrajhar.
Speculations are rife that some more candidates could be shifted out of Assam. Most of them who have been moved out of the state have better chance of victory in the poll, so the BJP may have been working on them.
The three-phase poll ended only on April 6 in the state.
Assam-watchers are of the view that if the BJP is really making any such plan it is clear that the party is not very sure of securing majority in the House this time.
As the result is going to come on May 2, the Congress has taken extra caution to pre-empt poaching.