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Asom Gana Parishad not part of NDA despite poll tie-up with BJP

Assam`s main opposition AGP clarified that it was not part of the NDA even though it had stitched an alliance with the BJP in the run-up to the general elections.

Guwahati, March 09: Assam`s main opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) clarified Monday that it was not part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) even though it had stitched an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the run-up to the general elections.

"Let me clarify that we are not part of the (BJP-led) NDA. The AGP and the BJP are partners for the Lok Sabha elections forged to defeat the Congress party," AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary told journalists here.

The AGP leader`s clarification comes after BJP president Rajnath Singh last week told journalists that the regional party was a partner of the NDA.

Patowary said the seat sharing arrangement with the BJP would in no way dilute the regional character of the AGP.

"The Congress party is getting nervous and frustrated by the day and hence coming up with all theories about the AGP getting marginalised by the BJP following our alliance. In reality, the Congress is really worried with our electoral tie up," Patowary said.

"We challenge the Congress government to publish a white paper on development activities in Assam," the AGP president said.

Under the seat sharing arrangement, the BJP would contest in eight of the 14 parliamentary seats in Assam, while the AGP would field candidates in six constituencies.

On Monday, Patowary formally announced the names of the six contesting candidates.

In the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress won nine seats and another by an independent that later supported the ruling party. In the same elections, the AGP and the BJP won two seats each.

"We are confident of routing the Congress this time and are hopeful of wresting a number of seats from the ruling party," Patowary said.