The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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BJP makes up mind before AGP

Guwahati, Jan. 25: The BJP ruled out an electoral alliance with the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) before the regional party’s think tank could sit down to decide whether to revive a relationship that benefited neither in the 2001 Assembly poll.

Assam BJP president Indramoni Bora today said his party would go solo in all but one of the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies of the state. The decision was taken during the two-day conclave of the executive committee.

The AGP, too, is reportedly not keen on a new alliance with the BJP, but an official decision on this has been kept in abeyance because of the Prafulla Kumar Mahanta-led group’s opposite views on the subject. The party was expected to take up the debate during its annual conference in Tezpur from Wednesday.

Mahanta has been warning of a split in the non-Congress vote bank if the AGP and the BJP do not take on the ruling party as a team.

Though he was categorical in rejecting a tie-up with the AGP, Bora parried questions from the media about the possibility of alliances with other parties. He said the only seat for which the BJP would not field a candidate was Kokrajhar.

“We have understanding with the All Bodo Students Union-backed Independent candidate and sitting Lok Sabha member Sansuma Khunggur Bwiswmuthiary.”

All executive members, presidents of the district units and representatives in the party’s national committees attended the two-day conclave.

The BJP will hold as many as 10 rallies in Assam next month. Senior party leader V. Satish, who monitors the functioning of the Northeast units, said Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and human resource development minister Murli Manohar Joshi would attend a couple of these public meetings.

The state unit has been asked to appoint individual campaign managers for all 13 Lok Sabha constituencies where it will field candidates. About 100 election assistants will fan out into these constituencies to monitor the effect of the campaign on the electorate.

Satish said 15,000 polling station committees had been formed. A workshop for members of the polling station committees is slated for February 20. The state has 17,653 polling stations.

The names of the campaign managers for Tezpur, Barpeta, Guwahati, Mangaldoi, Silchar, North Cachar Hills and Karbi Anglong constituencies have been announced.

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