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AGP snaps ties with BJP
Published on 7 Apr. 2010 11:44 PM IST
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The honeymoon between Assam’s main opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is over - the AGP Wednesday made it clear that snapping ties with the saffron party was now a mere formality.
“We are getting pressure from our grassroots level supporters and workers about severing ties with the BJP and a decision to this effect is likely to be taken in our next party general council meeting,” AGP general secretary Atul Bora told journalists here.
The AGP’s reaction came a day after BJP president Nitin Gadkari made a public announcement in Guwahati about having a BJP chief minister in Assam after the 2011 assembly elections.
The BJP and the AGP had an electoral understanding during the 2009 parliamentary elections, although the AGP in recent months was maintaining a distance from the saffron party.
The electoral alliance proved disastrous for the AGP - the regional party won just one of the 14 Lok Sabha seats, while the BJP managed to bag 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 have to work out alliances with smaller regional parties and other like-minded combinations for next year’s assembly polls,” the AGP leader said.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi Wednesday observed that despite cracks in the AGP-BJP alliance, the regional party would have no option but to tie up with the BJP once again.
“Like in the last parliamentary polls, the AGP would once again beg for a tie up with the BJP as the regional party simply has no alternative,” the Congress chief minister said at a press conference.
Gadkari a cheap politician: Gogoi
Taking exception to charges of corruption levelled by BJP president Nitin Gadkari, Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi today said he is a “cheap politician”.
“The sweeping remarks are very unfortunate and it seems Gadkari is engaging in cheap politics. I have never seen such a cheap politician,” Gogoi told reporters. “I have decided to write to Gadkari to furnish proof of his charges, because such criticism has never been leveled against me,” a visibly angry chief minister said.
“This only shows that the BJP president has poor knowledge about the state. I was union food processing minister and worked together with BJP leaders such as L K Advani and Sushma Swaraj who have never levelled such charges,” Gogoi said.Gadkari, during his maiden visit to the state earlier this week, had accused Gogoi of indulging in corruption and publicly admitting of taking money for electioneering.
“Gadkari is shedding crocodile tears when he spoke about the state’s problems including infiltration and flood. The BJP shows sympathy only before elections,” he said.
On Gadkari’s charge that the Congress was protecting infiltrators for its vote bank, Gogoi alleged that the NDA government was never serious in solving the problem.
“I had written to the then home minister L K Advani for sanctioning money to build more border outposts, flood lights and fencing along the Indo-Bangla border, but the government did not oblige,” Gogoi said.
“Surprisingly, the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee mooted the idea of issuing work permits to Bangladesh infiltrators which I had opposed tooth and nail,” Gogoi said.
“The people of Assam understand that leaders such as Gadkari remember them just before elections. The NDA government did not sanction a single develop project for the state,” he said.
“Gadkari is dreaming of installing a BJP chief minister after the 2011 assembly election which is ridiculous. They could not even keep four MLAs with them,” he said referring to the suspension of BJP MLAs for voting in favour of the Congress in the March 26 Rajya Sabha poll.

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