Two months after a bitter divorce over the controversial citizenship amendment bill, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the BJP reunited and entered into an alliance for the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Assam.
Though a formal announcement of the seat-sharing formula is still to be made, sources said that while BJP would contest 10 Lok Sabha seats, the AGP will get three seats. They are Koliabor, Barpeta and Dhubri. And the BPF would contest Kokrajhar seat.
Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, thre trouble shooter for BJP in the North East states, said that three AGP ministers who had submitted their resignation from the BJP-led coalition state government, had not only withdrawn their resignation but rejoined office immediately.
“After a prolonged discussion, the BJP and the AGP have decided to work together in the coming parliamentary elections in Assam to defeat the Congress. The Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) will be the third partner in the alliance,” he added.
The decision was taken at a meeting of senior AGP leaders, including party president Atul Bora, former minister Keshav Mahanta and others with BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and sarma.
Bora reiterated, “The decision to join the alliance was taken in the interest of the state and to ensure the defeat of Congress in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.” However, AGP stalwart and two-time chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta was not present in the meeting. He is said to be unhappy with AGP returning to BJP fold.
Meanwhile, Ram Madhav expressed confidence that NDA will win 22 of 25 Lok Sabha seats in the North Eastern states. Alliances with friendly parties is almost over, he added.