AUDF to campaign in Meghalaya, Nagaland

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Guwahati, Feb 19 (UNI) The Asom United Democratic Front (AUDF), which etched a mark on Assam politics by winning 10 Assembly seats in its maiden outing in the last polls, is now eyeing its neighbouring states- Meghalaya and Nagaland before it makes the national venture.

The party would be campaigning for independent and regional party candidates in these two states in the coming Assembly polls, though it will not be fielding any official candidate.

AUDF Working President Hafiz Rashid Ahmed Choudhury said, ''We are holding talks with several parties and will campaign in these two states.'' AUDF chief and perfume baron Badruddin Ajmal will be the star campaigner for AUDF, Mr Choudhury said and added that the schedule will shortly be finalised as Mr Ajmal was not well at present and the schedule will depend on his health.

''In Meghalaya, we are holding dialogues with the NCP and in Nagaland, a new party has invited Mr Ajmal. We will arrive at a decision soon,'' he added.

Mr Choudhury also informed the AUDF had expansion plans and would have an all-India presence soon.

He further said, ''We will have our units in other NE states as well and even in other states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, where we already have a support base.'' If the AUDF's plans materialise, it would emerge as a major power in the national arena, with roots in the NE.

The party had contested the 2006 Assembly elections in Assam after being floated that very year and had stunted all by grabbing 10 seats in the 126-seat state house.

With its hold on minority votes, the party is viewed as a major threat to the traditional minority vote bank of the Congress.

UNI SG LL PY KN1739

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