BJP, AGP to jointly fight Congress in Assam polls


Guwahati : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) have decided to jointly fight the 2011 assembly elections in Assam, party leaders said Sunday.

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“We have decided to fight jointly against the Congress,” an AGP spokesman said.

“We will hold a steering committee meeting June 10, an executive meeting June 14 and a general house meeting June 22 to chalk out strategies,” the spokesman added.

These meetings will also review the AGP’s performance in the 2009 parliamentary elections. Of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Assam, AGP won one seat while its ally BJP got four seats, two more than in 2004.

Most BJP leaders and workers favour an AGP-BJP coalition.

“Only by mutual contest can the two parties dislodge the Congress government in Assam,” said Harendra Pratap Singh, BJP’s national executive member and the party in-charge of the northeastern region.

“If the two parties jointly contest the elections, they can make considerable gains,” he told reporters.

Leaders in both the parties said they would watch the coming by-elections for Dhekiajuli and South Salmara seats, which have fallen vacant as their legislators were elected to the Lok Sabha.

Singh also referred to the BJP’s demand to form a Northeast Security Council (NSC) to tackle terrorism and infiltration and also demanded the fencing of India’s border with Myanmar and China.

“Militants in the region have been using Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Myanmar for training and shelter while getting arms from China,” he said.

According to him, there are more than 10 million illegal Bangladeshis in the northeast, especially in Assam.

Elections to the 126-member Assam assembly are expected to be held in March 2011. In 2006, the Congress secured 54 seats, the BJP 12 and AGP got 21 seats.