GUWAHATI: With the Assam Assembly election coming closer, hard bargaining on seat-sharing has been started between the BJP and the AGP, as is the case between the Congress and the AIUDF.
According to sources, this time around the AGP wants 40 seats from the BJP to contest. What's significant between the two alliance partners is that the AGP is carrying out poll rallies in constituencies that are currently held by the BJP. In the same way, the BJP is also taking out rallies in constituencies currently held by its ally, the AGP.
Commenting on the AGP seeking 40 seats from the BJP, State Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma took a firm stand, "If that's the case, there may be friendly contest between the BJP and the AGP in a number of constituencies. Seat-sharing should be finalized based on the parties' constituency-wise base and strength.
"In the BTR (Bodo Territorial Region), we're going to ally with the UPPL (United People's Party, Liberal). There too we need to see in which seats the BJP should field candidates and where the UPPL has bright winning prospects." Sources in the AGP office claim that now the base of the party has got a boost, and that augurs well for it to seek at least 40 seats to fight. "In 2016 Assembly election, we did give a number of seats that are considered our strongholds to the BJP," a source in the party said.
A few seats that are currently held by the AGP – Dergaon, Naharkotia, Lakhimpur, Kamalpur, Tezpur, Barhampur, Teok and Patacharkuchi etc – may be given to the BJP. On the contrary, a few other seats currently held by the BJP – Roha, Borduwa, Biswanath, Hajo, Palasbari etc – may be given to the AGP.
The bargaining on seat-sharing has also entered the tough phase between the Congress and the AIUDF also. While the AIUDF is demanding 35 seats to field candidates, the Congress is ready to give it only 18 seats. There is no tussle of any sort on seats sharing between the two allies in upper Assam where the Congress has a better grip than that of the AIUDF. The tussle between the two parties for seat-sharing is intense in the
22 minority-dominated constituencies in central Assam, lower Assam and the Barak Valley. Some of the Congress MLAs are a worried lot as the AIUDF has its eyes set on their seats as well. Though the Congress and the AIUDF got into a huddle to combat the BJP's juggernaut, the seat-sharing plan between them doesn't seem to be smooth sailing. In Borduwa constituency currently held by the BJP, both the Congress and the AIUDF want to field candidate.
Sources in the candidate selection committee of the Congress said that they are trying to strike a happy medium so that the BJP cannot take any undue advantage from the situation.
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