The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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AGP warms up to Mahanta

Guwahati, Jan. 27: After being virtually exonerated in the infamous “secret killings” case, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta is back on centrestage — and his parent party seems all too willing to pave the way for his return.

Dispur’s affidavit, giving a clean chit to the Mahanta government as far as extra-judicial killings are concerned, has spawned a massive churning within the rank and file of the AGP.

This has forced the party leadership to consider summoning a meeting to discuss the possibility of “reunification” with the breakaway Asom Gana Parishad (Pragatisheel), the party headed by the former chief minister.

Under tremendous pressure from the pro-Mahanta lobby, party leaders like Brindaban Goswami are reportedly considering the options.

A senior party leader today disclosed that the leadership has been considering, albeit informally, summoning the steering committee “very soon” to take a decision on the future course of action.

“It is almost a crisis. Those who had taken the lead in putting Mahanta under tremendous pressure and then stripping him of his party crown are now facing the same kind of pressure. Now he has emerged as a man more wronged than otherwise,” said the leader.

Goswami, who has been under pressure following the electoral debacle early last year, is now facing the prospect of patching up with Mahanta.

Earlier, the Goswami camp had succeeded in silencing Mahanta’s sympathisers with the argument that if the founder president was indicted by the commission probing the secret killings, it would have an adverse impact on the party if he was taken back.

The affidavit has come as a rude shock for the ruling Congress as well.

Surprised by the turnaround, the PCC has decided to seek a clarification from Dispur as to why it has deviated from an avowed policy.

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