The Telegraph
Sunday , April 22 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mahanta to run for AGP top post

- Triangular contest on the cards

Guwahati, April 21: Former AGP president Prafulla Kumar Mahanta is set to make a bid for the coveted party president post.

Mahanta will be filing his nomination before the deadline tomorrow afternoon for the April 26 polls, following mounting pressure from his supporters to save the party from disintegration, his close aides revealed tonight.

The development is significant because the Mahanta camp had been saying that he would not contest unless “there is a demand” for the same from the party’s rank and file. There was, however, no official reaction from Mahanta.

Sources from both camps said Mahanta, a two-time chief minister, and the incumbent AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary, were engaged in secret parleys to avoid a confrontation between them but the vibes from both camps suggest that both will file their nominations tomorrow.

Senior AGP leaders went into a huddle after party general secretary and MLA from Sootea, Padma Hazarika, filed his nomination papers for the post of president yesterday.

As things stand today, it will be a direct contest between Mahanta, Hazarika and Patowary or one among the trio would be declared president without a contest. “No scenario is being ruled out. But one thing is confirmed that it will be no cakewalk for the one who eventually wins,” one of them said. Atul Bora (Junior) is the lone applicant for working president till date.

A member of the party’s central election committee and veteran AGP leader Thaneswar Boro told The Telegraph that so far, 76 candidates have collected nomination papers, of whom 11 submitted their nominations.

“Hazarika and Atul Bora (Junior) have filed their nominations for president and working president’s posts respectively while four candidates submitted forms to contest for general secretary. The rest of the candidates are for executive members,” Boro said at the party headquarters here at Ambari.

Sources, however, said party leaders were trying to convince Padma Hazarika to withdraw his nomination and “help” choose a consensus presidential candidate.

The party’s election, which was earlier scheduled for April 22, was postponed to April 26. Scrutiny of the nomination papers will be done on Monday. Candidates contesting the election will be able to withdraw their nomination papers on Tuesday. The results will be announced after counting on Thursday.