Dissent within BJP over tie-up with AGP
BY Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Feb 14: Even before it filizes a pre-poll tie-up with the AGP, the BJP is facing stiff dissent from old-time workers within the party who are opposed to any alliance.
The dissent spilled over to the streets today as workers from constituencies like Amguri, Bongaigaon, South Abhayapuri, North Abhayapuri and Hajo beseized the party’s election office at Ulubari.
While BJP workers from Amguri staged a semi-nude protest, those from Bongaigaon tonsured their heads.
The protestors were peeved at reports that the BJP might set aside around 30 seats for the AGP in the event of a tie-up. In that case, the BJP may have to give up some key constituencies like Amguri, Bongaigaon, Tezpur and Khumtai to the regiol party which is perceived to have better prospects in those seats.
“There have been members who have been with the party for long years – sticking with it both in good and bad times. How can the party leadership forge an alliance with the AGP without holding deliberations with the grassroots workers,” the protestors fumed.
“We do not want BJP’s growing organizatiol strength to be sacrificed for an alliance with the AGP. It will be suicidal if BJP joins hands with AGP. There will be mass revolt from grassroots workers,” they added.
Some protestors even shouted slogans against senior party leader Ram Madhav who had reportedly held a meeting with the AGP top brass last night at a city hotel.
The BJP’s Udalguri district president resigned yesterday, protesting the alliance with BPF.
BJP’s legislature party leader Jadav Deka rallied behind the protestors, saying he too was opposed to any alliance. There have been reports that the AGP and the BJP may go for a “friendly contest” at Deka’s constituency Kamalpur.
Yesterday, the Biswath Chariali office of the party was also vandalized by party workers opposed to an alliance with the AGP.
BJP workers in constituencies where new entrants to the party are likely to get tickets – like Jorhat, Sootea, Dhekiajuli, Dhakuakha, Sipajhar and Margherita – have also voiced their dissent.
BJP spokesman Siddhartha Bhattacharya, however, downplayed the protests saying it was a “pre-mature reaction.”
“The party had formed a five-member team to look into the alliance issue. It is yet to submit its report. Hence, I feel the protests are pre-mature. Moreover, the protests show the inner-party democracy in the BJP where every worker has a voice,” he said.