Around 20 Assam Congress-AIUDF candidates shifted to Jaipur? Cong says none from party

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Jaipur/Guwahati, Apr 9 (PTI) In a sudden and unexplained move, around 20 candidates of the opposition Congress-AIUDF alliance in the Assam assembly polls were Friday flown to Jaipur, where they were lodged in a hotel on the city's outskirts, Congress chief whip in the Rajasthan assembly said.

The leader of the Congress Legislature party in the Assam assembly, however, dismissed media reports to this effect and claimed all party contestants were present in the state.

A majority of the contestants who landed at the Jaipur airport were taken to a hotel on the Delhi highway on the outskirts of the state capital.

Most of them are AIUDF candidates, sources said.

'Around 20 candidates have been shifted to Jaipur from Assam today,' said Congress chief whip in the Rajasthan Assembly Mahesh Joshi.

Assam CLP leader Debabrata Saikia said none of the Congress candidates was on the flight to Jaipur.

'All of them are in Assam right now,' he claimed.

Saikia said he was not aware if AIUDF candidates were shifted to Rajasthan.

AIUDF chief and Lok Sabha MP Badruddin Ajmal did not respond to PTI's calls for clarification and the cell phone of party spokesman Haidor Hussain was switched off.

It is not unusual for political parties to lodge their MLAs and MPs in hotels and resorts outside their states to ward off the threat of poaching by a rival party.

However, putting candidates in an election fray in a state, where even the votes are yet to be counted, in the lap of luxury, is unheard of.

The three-phase Assam Assembly elections concluded on April 6 and the results will be out on May 2. PTI SDA/ESB SK SK