AGP first list out, ‘friendly fight’ with BJP in some seats

The regional party is also expected to announce a second list of candidates in constituencies where the party will have a “friendly fight” with the BJP.

Written by Samudra Gupta Kashyap | Guwahati | Updated: March 18, 2016 11:36:52 am
Prafulla-Kumar Former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta

The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), the BJP’s partner in Assam, on Thursday released its first list of candidates for 25 constituencies, including two additional seats — Biswanath and Kalaigaon — that it was not allotted as part of the alliance.

The regional party is also expected to announce a second list of candidates in constituencies where the party will have a “friendly fight” with the BJP.

The party’s sitting MLAs Prabin Hazarika and Mukundaram Choudhury have been fielded from Biswanath and Kalaigaon, respectively, while AGP founder-president and two-time chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta will contest for the seventh consecutive time from Barhampur in Nagaon district.

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Announcing the list at a media conference here, AGP president Atul Bora claimed the NDA will crush the Congress, riding the strong anti-incumbency mood building up against Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. Slamming the Gogoi government’s “misrule”, he said let alone securing life and property of the common people, the government “cannot even ensure the safety of high school examination answer scripts”.

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Referring to last week’s fire at an evaluation centre in Jorhat, upper Assam, that left several thousand answer sheets of Class X Board examinees gutted, Bora said, “Can there be a government more irresponsible…one which cannot even ensure safety and security of Board examination answer scripts?” Pointing out that hundreds of answer-sheets had been eaten by cows at a centre in 2012, he said, “People are fed up with the Congress. They desperately want a change.”

Bora also said, “The indigenous communities have been rendered increasingly insecure in the last 15 years because the Congress is going out of its way to protect the interests of Bangladeshi infiltrators. That is why all indigenous groups and parties, including the AGP, have joined hands.”

The party also got a shot in the arm with retired IPS officer Dilip Kumar Borah and former Asom Jatiyabadi Yuva-Chhatra Parishad (AJYCP) president Dilip Patgiri joining it. The party president introduced the duo to the media at Thursday’s press conference. “Assam needs regionalism to protect the interests of its indigenous communities from the silent aggression of Bangladeshi infiltration, and the AGP has always stood for regional interests,” the retired DGP said.

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