BJP drawing closer to BPF, talking back-channel with AGP
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Dec 5: With BPF president Hagrama Mohilary meeting Prime Minister rendra Modi in New Delhi on Saturday, possibility of a 'gathbandhan' of saffron hue is emerging for next year's assembly election in Assam, even as Tarun Gogoi and AIUDF supremo Badruddin Ajmal keep blowing hot and cold over talk of alliance between the two parties.
Hagrama and his close aides - Khampa Borgoyari and Biswajit Daimary - met Modi at his 7, Race Course Road residence. Union minister and State BJP president Sarbanda Sonowal and senior party leader Himanta Biswa Sarma were also present at the meeting.
Both Hagrama and Sonowal claimed that the meeting was not "political". "We discussed issues relating to the development of BTAD and Karbi Anglong," they said. But presence of newly-inducted leader Himanta Biswa Sarma in the meeting clearly indicates that there is more to this development than meets the eye.
Known to be close to Himanta, BPF chief Hagrama, however, said that his party is ready to go with anyone who will work for the development of BTC.
Earlier, Hagrama had successfully roped in a number of tribal leaders and smaller parties to float a united forum - christened as the United People's Forum - which included influential tribal leaders like Jayanta Rongpi and Ranuj Pegu.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that the BJP, which is increasingly apprehensive of securing a majority in the elections, is also working on a seat-sharing arrangement with the AGP.
The AGP has held a series of meetings with representatives from its district committees over the last few days. Officially, the AGP has denied discussing the issue of alliance with the BJP at the meetings. But party insiders told The Sentinel that it has sought at least 35 seats in the seat-sharing formula it has offered to the BJP. Besides the seven constituencies which the AGP holds currently, it is learnt to have sought some key seats like Dergaon, gaon, Khumtai, Barpeta, Dhemaji, Dhekiajuli, Tezpur, West Guwahati, Bihpuria, Majuli, Hajo and Biswath Chariali - where it has candidates with good prospects. The issue is being considered by the BJP leadership, which, initially, had offered only around 15 seats to the regiol party.
State BJP president Sarbanda Sonowal had yesterday indicated that his party was open for a tie-up with like-minded parties, though he did not me any.