The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) returned to the NDA on Thursday, pledging to work with the BJP in the coming Lok Sabha elections “to free Assam from the tyranny of the Congress misrule”.
Coming as it did after the recent blasts in Assam where the Congress government faced flak for not doing enough to stop terrorism, the two parties said they must unite “all anti-Congress forces in the state”.
Their leaders worked out the alliance a day earlier at a meeting attended by BJP leaders Jaswant Singh and Sushma Swaraj, and AGP chief Chandra Mohan Patwari. Both the parties have two Lok Sabha seats each from Assam, which has a total of 14 seats.
A BJP-AGP joint statement identified common issues to corner the Congress. These included “permanent solution of basic issues of Assam like implementation of the Assam Accord, sealing of the India-Bangladesh border, issuing photo identity cards after updating the National Register of Citizens, permanent solution of flood problem, bringing peace in Assam through dialogue with militant outfits and granting ST status to six deserving communities of the state as recommended by the Assam assembly”.
BJP’s prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani said, “Both subscribe to the view that to save India we must save Assam. To achieve that, the BJP and AGP have joined hands and will unite all anti-Congress forces in the state.”