AGP hints at alliance with BJP, calls ‘ULFA-links’ allegation a fiction

AGP won’t field candidate against BJP Assam unit president and is open to a post-poll arrangement.

Guwahati: Opposition Asom Gana Parishad
today hinted at an alliance with BJP, while dismissing
allegations by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi that it had links
with the banned ULFA.

"We have decided not to field candidates against BJP
Assam unit president Ranjit Dutta and we are open to any
post-poll arrangement," AGP President Chandra Mohan Patowary
told reporters here ahead of the Assam Assembly elections,
starting April 4.
Dismissing Gogoi`s charge of his party`s link with
ULFA, he said it was "clear to all" that the ruling Congress
had "taken the outfit`s help in the last Assembly poll."

"People know that Congress had taken ULFA militants
help in the last Assembly election and it will be the same
this time," he said.

Patowary also rejected the often repeated allegations
by Gogoi and the Congress about secret killings of ULFA kin
during the erstwhile Prafulla Mahanta-lead AGP regime.
"During the last ten years there has been open
killings of civilians by militants and the government has
remained a silent spectator," he said.

AGP, he said, would take on Congress for its "misrule"
and bad governance. "People are fed up with tall claims of the
Congress government on the development front and large scale
corruption and bad governance will result in their defeat.

"The per capita income is the lowest in Assam but
Congress is busy advertising in newspapers functions for
foundation stone laying in 450 so-called development projects
in the last 50 days," Patowary said.

He said dissension in Congress had come to the fore
with the resignation of senior members like former chief
minister Anowara Taimur. "There are allegations that
candidates (in Congress) have been selected on payment of huge
sums of money."

The AGP president also criticised Congress` Assam
election in-charge and AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh,
saying he had "very little knowledge" about the north-eastern
state.

More than 1000 Congress workers in lower Assam would
join AGP tomorrow, he claimed.

On the use of electronic voting machines, Patowary
said he was against it.

"We had complained to the chief election commissioner
during his visit here that the EVMs could be tampered by
the ruling party (Congress).

"In the past we have seen that EVMs are not a
fool-proof measure for free and fair election and so we have
urged the EC to resort to the old method of ballot boxes ...
Even developed countries as the USA, Germany and France are
still using ballot boxes, so why not in our country ?" he
added.

PTI

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