AGP-BJP alliance to continue in Assam by-polls
Assam's main opposition Asom Gana Parishad is still sticking with the Bharatiya Janata Party for next month's by-elections, although the alliance boomeranged on the regional party in the last parliamentary polls.india Updated: Oct 14, 2009 12:46 IST
Assam's main opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) is still sticking with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for next month's by-elections, although the alliance boomeranged on the regional party in the last parliamentary polls.
"As per the seat sharing tie up between the two parties, we are contesting in one seat and the BJP in the other seat for by-elections to two assembly constituencies," AGP leader Padma Hazarika told journalists.
By-polls to the two seats of Dhekiajuli and South Salmara were necessitated following election of the respective legislators as MPs in the last Lok Sabha polls. Voting is scheduled for November 7.
Badruddin Ajmal of the Asom United Democratic Front (AUDF) vacated the South Salmara seat after becoming an MP, while AGP legislator Joseph Toppo resigned from the Dhekiakuli seat on being elected as MP.
As per the seat sharing agreement, the AGP would field a candidate in the Dhekiajuli seat, while the BJP would contest the South Salmara seat.
Despite the AGP putting up a brave front and maintaining it would stick to its alliance with the BJP, the regional party was under tremendous pressure from its rank and file to sever ties with the saffron party after the AGP fared poorly in parliamentary elections.
The AGP won just one seat in the parliamentary elections, while the BJP seized the opportunity of the alliance to win four seats.
In the 2004 elections, the AGP and the BJP had won two seats each -there was no electoral tie up then.
"We were vehemently opposed to the alliance with the BJP as we knew it was because of this tie up that the people of Assam rejected us and so we won just one seat on our own in the parliamentary polls," a senior AGP leader said while requesting anonymity.
"But a few influential leaders from our own party are adamant to continue with the tie up with the BJP even at the cost of ruining the AGP."
Political analysts are of the view that it was the BJP that was gaining because of the electoral tie up with the AGP.
"The AGP is losing ground because of its alliance with the BJP. Maybe the AGP leaders are getting lot of financial support from the BJP leading to the tie up continuing even now," said Anil Das, an analyst.