The Opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) has decided to review its seat-sharing understanding with the Bharatiya Janata Party. AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary told journalists on Tuesday that his party’s steering committee and central executive committee had decided that the existing understanding with the BJP for the Parliamentary and the Assembly elections should be reviewed. A final decision will be taken by the general house of the party, he said.
Replying to a question, he clarified that the AGP did not have an electoral alliance with the BJP for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections and the understanding between the two parties was limited to seat-sharing. Of the 13 Lok Sabha seats contested by the two parties, BJP put up candidates in seven constituencies leaving six to the AGP. While the BJP won four seats, the AGP could win only one.
In the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, both the AGP and BJP won two seats each. After the results were out, a section of party leaders and cadres expressed the view that the arrangement had helped the BJP increase the number of seats and its influence, but the regional party had not benefited.
Mr. Patowary said the party had asked each MP, MLA and leader to bring at least 20 new faces into the AGP.
As part of measures to strengthen the party, it has decided to bring out handbooks on different subjects and issues, like implementation of the Assam Accord, peace talks with insurgent groups, the twin problems of flooding and erosion, big dams and their likely downstream impact and unemployment.