Seat-sharing with AGP done, says BJP as Mahanta sulks



On a day when Asom Gana Parishad leader Prafulla Kumar Mahanta expressed his unhappiness over his party's decision to ally with the BJP again, Assam finance minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday said the BJP, AGP and Bodoland peoples' Front have already finalized seat-sharing for the Lok sabha polls.

Sarma said the BJP's parliamentary board will spell out the arrangement fleshed out with the allies on March 16.

"The three parties have decided to contest the polls together to defeat the Congress and to make Narendra Modi the country's Prime Minister again. Though seat-sharing arrangements have been finalized, our party's parliamentary board will announce the candidates on March 16," said Sarma.

On the other hand, AGP leader and former Assam Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta on Wednesday said the party did not consult him on alliance with the BJP. "I was not aware of the alliance. I came to know about the party's decision only through the media," Mahanta told journalists in Nagaon.

"I am against alliance with the BJP and I am firm on my stand. The party leaders have taken the decision on their own. We now have to ascertain what our district committees and grassroots workers want," said Mahanta.

BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma said the three ministers of AGP, who had resigned following a row over Citizenship Amendment Bill in January this year, will resume their charge on Wednesday.

Sarma said that the BJP's stand on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 is firm. "Our stand on the Bill remains the same since the Jan Sangha days. The BJP does not think that there is a need to review the party's stand on Citizenship Bill," he said.

"We know that the AGP has a stand on the Bill. We do not want the AGP to change their stand. However, both the BJP and AGP will continue to talk over the issue in the next few months and will find out how the Bill can be turned more beneficial for the people of Assam," he said.

"I can assure you that BJP and AGP will not have any differences over the Bill in future. The people of Assam have given a joint mandate to the BJP, AGP and BPF alliance for five years and we are going to complete the term together," he said.

On Tuesday, a faction of AGP leaders including party's president Atul Bora, Keshab Mahanta and Phanibhushan Choudhury met BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav in Guwahati and finalized the alliance for the Lok Sabha polls.-IANS