The former Assam Chief Minister, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, has become Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly after being elected the leader of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) Legislature Party on Saturday.

Mr. Mahanta quit as party president on September 5, 2001, after the poll debacle suffered by the party and amid controversies surrounding his personal life.

The AGP Legislature Party elected him as the new leader after party president Chandra Mohan Patowary quit the post of the Leader of Opposition to devote more time for organisational work.

Sources in the party said that though only seven months were left for Assembly polls, Mr. Mahanta decided to accept the post with the hope that it would enthuse the grass roots workers and consolidate his position in the party. “I thank all the AGP legislators for electing me as their leader. I will sincerely carry out the responsibilities entrusted on me to help the party fulfill the hopes and aspirations of the people of Assam,” Mr. Mahanta told The Hindu.

Mr. Mahanta returned to the AGP-fold and merged his party, AGP (Pragatisheel), along with the Trinamool Gana Parishad and the Prabin Deka faction of the Purbanchaliya Loka Parishad with the AGP on October 14, 2008 at Golaghat. .Coincidentally Mr. Mahanta has once again become the Leader of Opposition in the year when 25 years of signing of the Assam Accord has been completed.