Mahanta unhappy with AGP-BJP alliance in Assam (Lead)

xpressing his displeasure over the Asom Gana Parishad’s (AGP) decision to rejoin the BJP-led alliance in Assam ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, AGP leader and former Assam Chief Minister 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 journalists in Nagaon.

“Normally, such big decisions are discussed in the general house of the party. However, it was not done. I still believe that Assam needs a strong regional party and the AGP should contest the Lok Sabha polls alone,” said Mahanta.

“I am against this alliance with the BJP and I am firm on my stand. At this moment, it is difficult for me to comment on why the AGP leadership took the decision. The party leaders have taken the decision on their own. We now have to ascertain what our district committees and grassroots workers want,” he added.

AGP leaders including President Atul Bora and Keshab Mahanta met BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav on Tuesday night and announced that both the parties would fight the polls together.

Although the alliance is yet to officially announce its seat sharing arrangement for the Lok Sabha polls, it is learnt that the BJP has decided to give the Dhubri, Barpeta and Kaliabar seats to the AGP while the AGP will back BJP candidates in the other seats.

AGP leaders Atul Bora, Keshab Mahanta and Phanibhushan Choudhury also met Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday morning and are likely to withdraw their resignations as Ministers.

The three resigned in January after the AGP walked out of the BJP-led alliance following difference over the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016.