The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) , once the most powerful party of Assam, today is pilloried between Congress and BJP as the party found them no takes for them in the Lok Sabha poll.
Buoyed by the post air strike mood of the nation and in Assam, the BJP has made it official that AGP can not come back to their fold and Congress is also finding them not so useful in the ground.
But the AGP seems to be still in utopian dreams. “As both the BJP and Congress want us it only show our relevance” says AGP leader Ramendra Narayan Kalita.
2 Ls, 1 Rs and Money
The truth is that AGP is desperate to get into the BJP fold. All they want 2 seats(Dhubri & Barpeta) in Lok Sabha, one seats for Rajya Sabha(read Birendra Prasad Baishya) and fat bag of money to run the election.
But BJP is unmoved for now. “They (AGP) leaders are running around and trying to stitch an alliance with several parties, including the Congress,” the BJP leader said, adding that the party has been taking note of the regional party’s activities post the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill fiasco. “There is no possibility of the BJP again joining hands with the AGP,” he said.
On January 7, the AGP pulled out of the BJP-led coalition government in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, saying that its “last-ditch attempt” to convince the Centre to withdraw the proposed legislation failed.
However, what has kept the option alive for the AGP is that Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has not yet forwarded the resignation letters of then ministers Atul Bora, Keshab Mahanta and Phani Bhusan Choudhury to the Governor for acceptance. In the Assembly though, the sitting arrangement of the trio has been changed.
Ranjeet Das wants to be minister
But the BJP President Ranjeet Das is not keen to have them back as in the post Lok Sbaha poll scenario as he himself is eyeing for one of the 3 vacant ministerial berth. The BJP think tank also feel that more and more players in the anti-CAB fold will help them.
Already there are newly founded NPP LDP and Prabajan Virodi Mancha are there. The addition of AGP will only further fragment the anti CAB votes and that makes BJP happy as they do not want to go to the Congress.
“Frankly it is better for us to keep AGP outside NDA then inside. It will serve our purpose more” said the BJP general secretary admitting that central leadership might force the state unit to take them just for perceptional politics, which however has no ramifications on the ground.