Is it end of BJP-AGP honeymoon in Assam?
The Asom Gana Parishad and the Bharatiya Janata Party appear to be heading for a split after a nine-year electoral marriage. AGP spokesperson Atul Bora said his party was finding it hard to carry on with the friendship.india Updated: Aug 28, 2010 00:43 IST
The Asom Gana Parishad and the Bharatiya Janata Party appear to be heading for a split after a nine-year electoral marriage.
AGP spokesperson Atul Bora said his party was finding it hard to carry on with the friendship. “Everything will become clear after our general council meeting on September 20.”
“We want our electoral alliance to grow stronger. But if we have to part ways, we are confident of going it alone,” said BJP’s state unit president Ranjit Dutta.
The AGP is wary of the anger against the BJP brewing within its ranks, following the move of some leaders to bring former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta back at the helm.
Mahanta, who roped in the BJP as a partner before the 2001 assembly polls, returned to the AGP in October 2008 after three years of leading a faction.
The alliance proved beneficial for the BJP in 2001. It bagged 10 seats against eight in 1996 to the AGP’s 20 against 59. The BJP maintained its seat tally in 2006 too, while the AGP won 24.
Bora’s statement also preceded the launch of BJP’s Janajagaran Sabha from western Assam’s Pathshala town, some 150 km from Guwahati, on Friday. The Sabha is part of a campaign against encroachment of lands held by Sattras or Vaishnavite monasteries.
Assam has 910 such monasteries from the time of 15th century saint Srimanta Sankardeva. More than 2,752 acres of land, belonging to 39 monasteries, have already been encroached by alleged Bangladeshi migrants. The most affected districts are Barpeta and Nagaon.
The Gauhati High Court had in 1997 directed the Assam government to evict the encroachers and return the land to the monasteries. The government is yet to act on this.