‘AGP Will Return to NDA, Will Fight LS Polls Together’: Ram Madhav
“BJP, AGP and BFP will together ensure that Congress is defeated in all the 14 seats of the state,” said Ram Madhav.
BJP National General Secretary and in-charge of BJP’s Northeast unit, Ram Madhav on Tuesday, 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.”Ram Madhav told ANI
“Two years ago, during the Assembly elections in Assam, the BJP, together with the AGP and BPF, fought the election and defeated the Congress to form the government together in the state,” he added.
The Lok Sabha elections in Assam will be held in three phases, on 11, 18 and 23 April respectively, and candidates will contest for 14 constituencies.
However, expressing displeasure over the AGP’s decision to rejoin the BJP-led alliance in Assam ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, AGP leader and former Assam CM Prafulla Kumar Mahanta on Wednesday said the party did not consult him.
"I was not aware of this. I came to know about the party's decision only this morning through the media," Mahanta told IANS.
BJP Seals Alliances in Northeast
On the same day, the BJP also finalised its alliances in the Northeast, setting a target of winning at least 22 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats, PTI reported, quoting Madhav.
Madhav held a series of discussions and sealed the alliances with the Bodoland Peoples’ Front (BPF), Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT), National People's Party, Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party and the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, along with the AGP.
"It was a hectic day of parlays yesterday in the Northeast. Sustained negotiations at Dimapur and Guwahati with different senior leaders. Have finally sealed the alliance and electoral understanding between the BJP and all major parties in the Northeast," he said on Facebook on Wednesday, 13 March.
“The BJP, NPP, NDPP, AGP and BPF will fight together in Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh with the mission of defeating Congress party at the hustings. In Tripura, the BJP will fight the elections together with IPFT, our alliance partner.”Ram Madhav
Turnaround for AGP Post Disagreements Over The Citizenship Bill
In January, AGP had severed ties with the BJP after disagreeing over the citizenship bill, which the latter wanted to pass.
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.
Their leaving the alliance was likely to adversely impact the BJP’s chances in the Lok Sabha elections.
Madhav Urged AGP To Rethink Quitting NDA
On 17 January, Ram Madhav addressed a press conference in Guhawati saying that the BJP was committed to keeping its allies together and was in talks with the AGP to rejoin the NDA.
He spoke of keeping alliances strong in view of the upcoming polls.
“We have fought the elections together and we should stay together.”Ram Madhav on 17 January
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