Ensure the alliance is up to grassroot level, exhorts Modi
BY Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, March 3: The AGP will contest in 24 constituencies in the upcoming assembly elections, according to the seat sharing deal filized with alliance partner BJP today.
The BJP has already tied up with the BPF and has received support from Rabha and Tiwa organizations, making the alliance a five-party "grand" alliance, ironically an idea earlier mooted by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi for the Congress.
As per the AGP-BJP seat sharing formula, both the parties will "sacrifice" two seats each they currently hold.
The AGP has sacrificed Kalaigaon, held by Mukundaram Choudhury, and Biswath Chariali with Prabin Hazarika as its sitting MLA.
The BJP will not contest in Kamalpur where sitting MLA Jadav Deka is the party's legislature party leader and Patacharkuchi where its sitting MLA is Manoranjan Das. BJP sources said there is a "massive anti-incumbency wave" in these two seats and it is not willing to take any chances. The AGP will now field candidates in these two seats.
The other seats in which the AGP will field candidates are harkatiya, Amguri, Teok, Dergaon, Bokakhat, Sarupathar, Koliabor, Barhampur, West Guwahati, Chayygaon, Boko, Bongaigaon, South Abhayapuri, North Abhayapuri, Barpeta, Tezpur, North Lakhimpur, Jamumukh, Lahorighat, West Bilasipara, Sarukhetri and Dalgaon.
However, the regiol party might be given three more seats - Biswath Chariali, Barama and Kalaigaon. "Talks are on…the BJP may set aside these three seats for the AGP," a source said, adding that in some seats, the two parties may go for "friendly contests."
AGP leaders led by president Atul Bora and former Chief Minister PK Mahanta today met Prime Minister rendra Modi. Sources said Modi will announce the common minimum programme of the alliance when he visits the State for campaigning.
Modi also asked leaders of both the parties to ensure that the alliance is "up to the grassroot" level.
At a joint press conference addressed at the BJP headquarters in Delhi, leaders of both the parties lashed out at the Congress, accusing it of failing to resolve the vexed illegal migrants problem.
BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the then Congress governments at the Centre and State conspired to frustrate any attempt to detect and deport foreigners.
AGP president Atul Bora said the Tarun Gogoi government has failed in fulfilling aspirations of the people of the State during its 15-year rule.
"The Congress did nothing during its tenure to resolve the issue (of influx) just for the sake of its vote bank. The BJP has assured us that the Central government will do whatever is possible to ensure that the Assam Accord is implemented in toto, the perennial devastation caused by flood and erosion is checked and the unemployment problem addressed," Bora said.
The AGP president said though his party was in power for two terms, it could do little to resolve the problem of influx because the IM(DT) Act was in place.
State BJP president Sarbanda Sonowal, Himanta Biswa Sarma and AGP working president Keshav Mahanta were present at the joint media briefing.