The Telegraph
Saturday , March 15 , 2014
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AGP smiles, gives poll clarion call

Party first to release agenda

AGP leaders release the party’s election manifesto in Guwahati on Friday. (PTI)

Guwahati, March 14: The AGP today promised to push for equal opportunities for all communities, an Indo-Bangla treaty for deportation of illegal migrants and implementation of the 1985 Assam Accord within five years.

Equal opportunities for all communities and time-bound implementation of Assam Accord make it clear that the regional party is not in favour of division of Assam which is witnessing a spate of statehood demands and is still committed to the 1985 pact, AGP watchers said.

Releasing the 16-page manifesto at the party headquarters in Ambari here this afternoon, AGP president Prafulla Kumar Mahanta assured the people that the party would carry their voice to Parliament and take bold steps to protect the interests of the state, which are often ignored by the national parties.

The party also pledged against ceding land to Bangladesh. It will work to prevent corruption, take measures to stop infiltration, check price rise, implement the Assam Accord, improve railway services, find a scientific solution to the flood and erosion problem, decentralise power and tackle the problem of unemployment, among others.

The AGP is the first among the main parties — the Congress, the BJP and the AIUDF — to release the poll manifesto.

Appealing to the people to vote for the party to strengthen regionalism in the state, Mahanta said only AGP MPs had raised their voice against issues detrimental to the interests of the state, such as the land-swap deal with Bangladesh, in Parliament when MPs of national parties representing Assam chose to remain mute spectators.

In May last year, the two AGP MPs in the Rajya Sabha had stalled the tabling of a bill for ratification of the land-swap deal signed by India and Bangladesh on September 6, 2011 for transferring over 500 acres of the state’s land to the neighbouring country.

The MPs, Kumar Deepak Das and Birendra Kumar Baishya, had rushed towards external affairs minister Salman Khurshid when he rose to introduce the Constitution (119th) Amendment Bill, 2013, and did not let him utter a word by raising slogans.

Baishya is the AGP candidate for the Gauhati Lok Sabha constituency.

The AGP said it would strongly place in Parliament the demands for equal representation for all states in the Rajya Sabha and a bar on candidates from outside Assam seeking nomination to the Upper House from the state.

There were widespread protests in the state against fielding of Sanjay Singh, who hails from UP, by the Congress in the recent Rajya Sabha election in Assam.