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AGP leaders dismiss ‘adverse impact’

- Party spokeman addresses issue after 3-time Jorhat MLA and 18 workers quit
AGP leaders Renupama Rajkhowa and Hemanta Kalita at the news conference in Jorhat on Monday. Picture by UB Photos

Jorhat, Feb. 17: The AGP today said the resignation of its leader Hitendra Nath Goswami would not adversely impact the party’s prospects.

Goswami and 18 other members had resigned from the party yesterday.

AGP spokesperson Hemanta Kalita told reporters here that the party would not like any of its members to leave but would “benefit” if someone who has been pursuing his or her “personal interest” quits.

He said Goswami’s resignation would not have “any major impact” on the party’s prospects.

Kalita was accompanied by several senior party leaders. Former minister Abhijit Sarmah, former deputy speaker Renupama Rajkhowa, former MLAs Sushila Hazarika and Bhabendra Nath Bharali, former district unit president of the party Putul Barua and the AGP’s founder member Niren Sarmah were present at the news conference.

Alleging that Goswami, a three-time legislator from Jorhat and a former minister, had been functioning in a “dictatorial manner”, Kalita said Goswami had been pursuing his own political interest at the cost of the party.

Many party workers and supporters got alienated because of his “autocratic style” of managing the party, he added. “The party in the district had been suffering for long because of Goswami’s dictatorial way of functioning. He refused to listen to other senior leaders and members,” he added.

Kalita said he and his colleagues had raised the issue at the party forum from time to time but Goswami had managed to gag criticism by placing “his handful of followers” in important posts.

Kalita said Goswami’s leaving the party clearly indicated that he was part of a “big conspiracy” to weaken the AGP, which upheld the cause of regionalism.

He said the party would continue its policy of giving priority to the development of the region as such a sentiment of a large number of people of the state is emotionally attached to the AGP, which was formed after a movement by the people, led by the students of the state.

Renupama Rajkhowa said Goswami was twice appointed general secretary of the party under Brindaban Hazarika and Chandra Mohan Patowary but he did not take any visible steps to strengthen the regional party.

Rajkhowa said though 18 office-bearers of different capacities, including Jorhat district unit president Jagat Das, had resigned yesterday along with Goswami, 90 per cent of the 71 regional committees of the party in the district unit were still intact.

AGP has convened a meeting of its central executive committee on February 22 at its Ambari headquarters to discuss various issues, including Goswami’s resignation.