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Mahanta terms AGP decision undemocratic

 GUWAHATI, March 14 - The decision to renew the alliance with the BJP was taken unilaterally by a few top level leaders of the AGP without consulting the members of the party or its general body, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta said today.

Addressing the media here, the AGP founder president and former Chief Minister also alleged that a conspiracy is afoot to isolate and remove him from the party.

“This decision (to renew the alliance with BJP) was not a decision taken by the AGP. No decision in this regard has been taken by the party’s executive committee. No discussion took place in the general body of the party... It is an undemocratic decision taken by four-five leaders,” Mahanta said.

The senior leader announced that he will refrain from campaigning in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Mahanta said that a nine-member committee had been formed earlier by the party to discuss the issue of alliance for the Lok Sabha polls and alleged that only one meeting of that committee took place. Mahanta also said that he was not informed by the party about his membership of the committee.

The former Chief Minister termed the party leadership’s decision to align with the BJP as an action against the interest of the people of Assam. “The leadership has insulted the spirit of the Assam Agitation and the 855 martyrs who laid down their lives during the agitation,” Mahanta said.

He alleged that there is a conspiracy by certain elements to ensure his removal from the party and claimed that falsehoods, like offer of Governorship to him and Lok Sabha nomination or Rajya Sabha membership to his wife, are being floated around in the media by such forces.

“Such an attempt is being made to distort my image among the public... There is a conspiracy to ensure my removal from the party,” he said, without identifying the elements who are allegedly involved in such efforts. Mahanta claimed that he is not interested in any party, legislative or executive posts.

Mahanta also alleged that certain forces had tried to incite some BJP workers in the Barhampur constituency against him during the 2016 Assembly elections. The AGP and BJP had fought those elections in alliance.

The former Chief Minister said he wants the AGP to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls on its own so that the party’s organisation can expand further and it can emerge as a major force in the 2021 Assembly elections.

Mahanta called upon the AGP workers to pressurize the leadership to call for a general body meeting of the party. He also called upon those who had left the party over the years to come together for consolidating the regional forces.

Asked about his plans for the future, Mahanta said, “The party workers will decide.” He, however, asserted that there is no question of a split in the AGP.

Asked about the possibility of Mahanta calling for a change in the AGP leadership, he said, “That question has not arisen so far. But we need internal democracy within the party.”

He added that alliance with the BJP will only lead to further erosion in the support base and organisational presence of the AGP.

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