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BJP hints at snapping ties with AGP in Assam
Published on 6 Apr. 2010 11:40 PM IST
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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday almost put an end to the year-long honeymoon with Assam’s main opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) by hinting to fight the 2011 assembly elections on its own and take power in the state.
“If they (AGP) want an alliance we can talk, or else we are ready to fight the 2011 elections on our own,” BJP president Nitin Gadkari told journalists at the end of a two-day visit to Guwahati.
On Monday, the BJP president was even more vocal about snapping ties with the AGP.“We have asked our party cadres to work towards having a BJP chief minister in Assam by next year,” Gadkari told a public rally in the city.
The BJP and AGP had an electoral understanding during the 2009 Lok Sabha election although the AGP in recent months has maintained a distance from the former. The electoral tie-up proved disastrous for the AGP, which won just one of the 14 Lok Sabha seats. The BJP bagged four seats.
The AGP-BJP tie up in the 2001 assembly elections also did not work out, with the combine routed by the Congress party.
“We are concentrating on strengthening our grassroot level workers in the state to make the party strong and vibrant,” the BJP president said.
Gadkari was also critical of the Congress.
“Corruption is rampant in Assam and yet the government claims all is well. The people of Assam would never accept such a corrupt government,” he said.
Demands probe
into price rise

The BJP today demanded that the Central government bring out a document explaining the reasons behind the “unprecedented” rise in prices of essential commodities and order a probe into the causes leading to the situation.
Wrapping up his two-day visit to Assam, BJP president Nitin Gadkari told a press conference that rise in food price was taking place despite bumper crops and buffer stocks.
“The Congress government should give an explanation. While the price rise is unabated, the inflation is at a record 11 per cent and food inflation is hovering around 20 per cent. “This is the sorry state of affairs despite government godowns overflowing and lakhs of tons of food grain rotting
... Inflation in other countries like the USA and China is very low,” he said.
The BJP president said the latest estimate of wheat production for the current year seems to be the highest at 82 million tons up from 75 million tons in 2006-07, while sugar production now was 178 lakh tons.
“In spite of such positive situation why this price rise? We demand a white paper from the UPA government as well as a thorough probe,” Gadkari said.
Gadkari said the “pitiable state of affairs” due to price rise was a “result of wrong economic policies and bad governance by a government which boasts of having one of the best economists in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.”
“Food security is in danger and the number of people living below the poverty line has gone up by 41 crore during the Congress regime,” he said.
Gadkari alleged the BJP has come across an export-import scam in which so called surplus sugar was exported some time ago but is now being imported from Brazil at a higher rate resulting in skyrocketing price of the commodity.
“You (the government) prefer to export sugar at Rs 12.50 per kg and import it at Rs 22 and not create any buffer stock. There is also no proper storage facility and lack of cold storage has resulted in food items rotting,” he said.
Gadkari said when non-Congress governments were in power at the Centre, there was surplus food grains and inflation was under control.
On largescale infiltration from Bangladesh, the BJP President said, “Illegal migration is going on at a very large scale and if allowed to continue by the Congress, this will completely destroy the state.”
“There were even some areas in the state where the infiltrators had become a majority. This is only a result of vote-bank politics of the ruling Congress in the state as well as at the Centre which has threatened the unity and integrity of the country,” he said.
The Congress had always been banking on votes from these infiltrators, but the BJP would oppose this tooth and nail, Gadkari said.
To a question, Gadkari denied having held talks with the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) on continuing their seat sharing understanding.
“No such talks have taken place during my visit with the AGP but we will want the alliance to continue for the 2011 assembly election in Assam,” he said.
The BJP and AGP had an alliance both in the last Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in the state. “If they (AGP) want (alliance) we are ready. If they don’t then we will fight alone,” he said.

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