Other States

Court stays AGP chief Atul Bora’s re-election

Atul Bora during an interview in New Delhi. File photo   | Photo Credit: SANDEEP SAXENA

A civil court in Guwahati has stayed the re-election of Assam Agriculture Minister Atul Bora as president of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), underlining a rift within the regional party.

The AGP rules Assam as one of the two regional allies of the Bharatiya Janata Party. A section loyal to former Chief Minister and founder-president Prafulla Kumar Mahanta is opposed to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), while the other headed by Mr. Bora is ambiguous on the issue.

The Court of Civil Judge, Kamrup (Metro), on September 5 ordered the AGP leadership not to implement the resolutions passed in the party’s August 27 meeting, which it said was in violation of the court’s injunction order passed the day before.

The resolutions in that meeting included the re-election of Mr. Bora, who has been the AGP chief since 2014, and elevation of other senior leaders such as ministers Keshab Mahanta and Phani Bhushan Choudhury. The court summoned the leaders on November 11.

In response to a suit filed by a trio of AGP leaders, the court on August 26 restrained the party from holding the August 27 meeting. “The meeting is out-and-out illegal as it is against the constitution of AGP (clause warranting announcement of meeting within a specified period) as well as against the COVID-19 protocol,” the order had stated.

Responding to another application on September 5, the court of civil judge Shakti Sarma observed that the AGP leadership disregarded the August 26 stay order to hold the 11th general council meeting the following day.

“We are yet to get copies of the court’s order and cannot comment on it without seeing its contents. We will present our case in court and are confident that our views will be taken into consideration,” Mr. Bora told The Hindu on Wednesday.

A party insider said the legal action against the AGP leadership pointed to a growing rift with a section loyal to Mr. Mahanta, the former Chief Minister who Mr. Bora had succeeded as the party chief.

Mr. Mahanta, undergoing treatment for neurological complications, was reportedly sidelined as the AGP went ahead with the August 27 meeting. The former CM refrained from commenting on the outcome of the meeting but has been advocating a rethink on the AGP’s alliance with the BJP because of the latter’s push for the CAA.

The pro-Mahanta group wants the AGP to come out of the alliance with the BJP over the Act that prescribes citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 2:49:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/court-stays-agp-chief-atul-boras-re-election/article32558652.ece

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