The Telegraph
Wednesday , November 27 , 2013

Mahanta ducks alliance question

- AGP leader says No talks on tie-up with BJP

Guwahati, Nov. 26: The guessing game continued as AGP president Prafulla Kumar Mahanta today refrained from giving a direct reply to questions of a possible alliance with the BJP ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Mahanta today said the party was yet to take a decision on any alliance. “An appropriate decision will be taken at an opportune time,” the AGP chief told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the party’s central executive held here today. The meeting was convened to discuss the party’s strategy for the Lok Sabha elections.

So far, the BJP has also maintained that it is not considering forming any alliance in Assam. The AGP and BJP had struck an alliance in 2001, which continued till the last Lok Sabha elections.

The AGP, however, snapped the partnership ahead of the 2011 Assembly polls, saying that it had not gained from the relationship.

AGP spokesman Manoj Saikia said no discussion on possible alliances were held at today’s central executive meeting. “Different organisational matters of the party, related to the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, came up for discussion at the meeting,” Saikia said.

He said the members resolved to not spare any effort in making the mass rally scheduled at Sonaram High School playground here on December 14 a grand success.

At the rally, the regional party will highlight the “anti-people” policies of the Congress and try to create public awareness about the various problems being faced by the state.

The central executive also decided to prepare constituency-specific strategies for each of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Saikia said the party would go all out to defeat the Congress by improving upon its performance in the last general elections.

The meeting also discussed ways to develop the party as a viable alternative to the Congress in the state and to strengthen the spirit of regionalism.

“In a bid to take the party closer to the people, the central executive today decided that the party top brass would take the views and opinions of the party members of all ranks, including the grassroots workers, into account before taking any political decision,” he said.

The AGP spokesperson said the party had constituted one “mandalik” committee for each Lok Sabha constituency. These committees have been asked to hold regular interactions with the people in order to feel the pulse of voters.

“The mandalik committees will also assess the party’s winning prospects in every parliamentary constituency in the state,” he said.

On the selection of party candidates, Saikia said the process had not started yet and that a large number of persons were seeking AGP tickets.

The AGP also came down heavily on former IPS officer K.P.S. Gill for saying that Khargeswar Talukdar, a martyr of the Assam agitation, was not killed by police but had died after drowning.

The party decided to observe Martyrs’ Day across the state on December 10.

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