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No alliance with BJP, says AGP chief

Silchar, Dec. 26: The Opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) would have no alliance with the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections, its president Brindaban Goswami said today.

Till yesterday, The AGP was undecided on a tie-up with the BJP amid speculation that the main constituent in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has mellowed towards its former ally.

Goswami had said here last night that any decision on a possible alliance would be taken at the party’s national convention to be held at Tezpur next month.

He said the delegates from the AGP’s 50 district committees would assemble at the convention in the Lower Assam town.

Goswami said it was the BJP which had unilaterally drifted away from the party after trying up for the Assam Assembly election in 2001.

But he said, “Leaders of both parties are doing a rethink on a tie-up as both have done well in the panchayat and civic elections in Assam.”

The AGP chief made it clear that “indiscipline in his party by any leader would not be tolerated”. He, however, refused to name any leader.

Goswami reiterated his appeal to both the Centre and Dispur to hold negotiations with the banned Ulfa to help the “misguided youths who had taken up arms against the establishment” return to the mainstream.

He implored the Ulfa cadre to realise the futility of their armed struggle, pointing out that nothing could be achieved by resorting to arms.

Goswami exhorted the Centre to honour the human rights of the Ulfa activists who are on the run from Bhutan.

He urged Delhi to examine the “root causes” of insurgency in the state, which, according to him, are continued deprivation of its people and lack of development in the state.

The attempt by a section of the AGP dissidents to disturb yesterday’s meeting of the Cachar district unit of the party here failed as the conclave witnessed much enthusiasm of a large number of participating delegates.

Party dissidents burnt an effigy of Goswami and pelted stones on four buses carrying delegates of the party to the conclave yesterday afternoon.

Four delegates were injured in the incident. Goswami said the Cachar district unit of the party had filed a case at the local police station.

The AGP president also paid floral tributes at the Language Martyrs’ Memorial here. This indicates a significant shift of stance of the party in respect of the Bengali language movement in the Barak valley of Assam in 1961 and 1986.

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