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‘Pact with BJP will harm AGP in state polls’

GUWAHATI: Bringing to fore the rift within the regional Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) over its decision to resume alliance with BJP for the Lok Sabha polls, former two-time Assam chief minister and founder-president of the party Prafulla Kumar Mahanta on Thursday said the alliance will harm the AGP in the 2021 Assembly polls.
“I still feel that the AGP should contest the Lok Sabha polls alone. The alliance with the BJP will harm the AGP for the 2021 Assembly polls,” Mahanta said addressing a press conference here.
He alleged that the decision was taken in an autocratic manner by a few leaders.
Distancing himself from electioneering activities as a mark of protest, Mahanta further alleged that there was no internal democracy left in the party.
Mahanta said, “Any decision to forge an alliance with the BJP should have been taken in a general body meeting of the party, but it was taken by 4-5 leaders in an undemocratic manner.”
“I cannot join hands with a communal force. AGP can go for alliance with any party, but it cannot be with a communal party like BJP,” he added. He further alleged that the 10-member committee formed by the party to finalise election strategies, of which he is also a member, met only once and he was not informed of any further meetings of the panel. He added that he will not participate in any campaign for the Lok Sabha election as a mark of protest.
The founder-president of the party claimed that a ‘political conspiracy’ was being hatched to force his exit from the AGP. He, however, remained firm on continuing with the AGP and appealed to grassroots workers and founding members and senior leaders to put pressure on the current leadership to snap ties with BJP.
When asked, Mahanta said he did not want a change in the party leadership.
The AGP, which had quit the BJP-led coalition government in Assam in January this year against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, had on Tuesday decided to return to its alliance with BJP and Bodoland People’s Front for the Lok Sabha election. The three parties had entered into an alliance ahead of 2016 state election and went on to form the government. (Agencies)

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