‘Party Did Not Consult Me’: AGP Leader on Alliance With BJP
AGP leader Prafulla Mahanta was unhappy with the alliance as the party had severed ties with the BJP in January.
Hours after Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) announced its decision to rejoin the alliance with BJP in Assam ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, former Assam Chief Minister and AGP leader Prafulla Kumar Mahanta said the party did not consult him.
Earlier in January, the AGP had severed ties with the BJP after disagreeing over the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
The AGP had said that the Bill goes against the interests of the Ahom people and could lead to Bangladeshi Hindus being granted citizenship rights and potentially settling in Assam.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, 13 March, in Assam's Nagaon area, Mahanta said he received the news on alliance through media.
“I was not aware of this. I came to know about the party’s decision only this morning through the media.”Prafulla Kumar Mahanta
The 66-year-old leader "firmly" said that he is against the alliance and will take the matter forward.
"I am against this alliance with the BJP and I am firm on my stand. At this moment, it is difficult for me to comment on why the AGP leadership took the decision. The party leaders have taken the decision on their own. We now have to ascertain what our district committees and grassroots workers want," Mahanta said.
‘AGP Will Return to NDA, Will Fight LS Polls Together’: Ram Madhav
Meanwhile, BJP National General Secretary and in-charge of BJP’s Northeast unit, Ram Madhav on 12 March, said that the BJP will contest the Lok Sabha elections in Assam with Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Bodoland People's Front (BPF).
“The BJP, together with the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), will contest the parliamentary elections. We will together ensure that the Congress is defeated in all the 14 seats of the state.”Prafulla Kumar Mahanta
Providing details on both BJP’s and AGP’s stand on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill amid the newly re-formed alliance, Assam Finance Minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma told IANS that the BJP's stand on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 is firm.
"Our stand on the Bill remains the same since the Jan Sangha days. The BJP does not think that there is a need to review the party's stand on Citizenship Bill," he said.
"We know that the AGP has a stand on the Bill. We do not want the AGP to change their stand. However, both the BJP and AGP will continue to talk over the issue in the next few months and will find out how the Bill can be turned more beneficial for the people of Assam," Sarma added.
This Lok Sabha election, Assam will vote in three phases – 11 April, 18 April and 23 April.
(With inputs from IANS)
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