AGP, BJP split in Assam ahead of April polls

Guwahati, March 9 (IANS) In a development that might benefit Assam’s ruling Congress ahead of the April assembly elections, the BJP and the AGP have split over the alliance between the two. Both the newly floated splinter parties announced on Wednesday that they will contest the polls.

While the disgruntled faction of the Asom Gana Parishad, which opposed the tie-up with the Bharatiya Janata Party, has decided to form a AGP Jatiyatabadi Mancha (AGP Regional Forum), the BJP leaders who opposed the alliance with the AGP have formed the Trinamool BJP.

“We cannot have any understanding with the BJP. The BJP is a party which does not respect the Assam Accord. A total of 855 martyrs sacrificed their lives during the Assam movement. We can’t accept the AGP having an understanding with the BJP,” said Sunil Rajkonwar, president of the AGP Regional Forum.

He went on: “How can the AGP have an understanding with a party like BJP that has murdered the Assam Accord by legalizing the Hindu infiltrators from Bangladesh? The Assam movement was against the illegal Bangladeshi infiltration, be it Hindu or Muslim. So we have decided to float this new forum and we are going to put up candidates in those 24 constituencies where the AGP and BJP are having an understanding,” he added.

On the other hand, grassroots workers of the BJP from different districts who have floated the Trinamool BJP are also planning to put up candidates in the 24 candidates which the party has decided to leave for the AGP.

“We have opposed the move of party leaders to leave those constituencies to AGP where we have a strong mass base. However, the party leadership did not listen to us. We are going to contest in the 24 constituencies,” said Biswajit Phukan, convener of the Trinamool BJP.

“The alliance with the AGP is not going to benefit the BJP. So we have opposed the alliance. Unfortunately, the party leadership did not believe us and went ahead with the alliance. We are sure the people of Assam will accept Trinamool BJP as an alternative to the corrupt Congress,” he added.

Assam goes to polls on April 4 and 11.

While the ruling Congress is allied with the United People’s Party (UPP), a regional outfit with some base in four districts of the Bodoland Territorial Areas Districts (BTAD), the BJP has tied up with the AGP and the Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF), which runs the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), the administration of the districts.

The All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) has announced it will not contest in 66 of the total 126 assembly seats in the April polls to help the Congress and defeat the BJP and its allies.

–Indo-Asian news Service

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