AGP joins NDA, vows to resolve Assam’s problems (Lead)November 13th, 2008 - 4:07 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 13 (IANS) The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) announced Thursday that the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) had joined it, giving the Bharatiya Janata Party-led alliance a key ally in the country’s northeast just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.After a meeting of his Central Election Committee, BJP leader L.K. Advani made the announcement at the party headquarters: “This is a very important decision in the wake of the series of bombings in the state, which has already been in turmoil.”
The announcement followed a meeting BJP leaders Jaswant Singh and Sushma Swaraj had Wednesday with AGP leaders. The AGP has two members each in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
The AGP was represented at the meeting by its president Chandra Mohan Patwari, working president Phani Bhussan Choudhary, general secretary Biren Prasad Baishya and others. BJP’s Assam leaders were also present.
A joint statement issued by the two parties said Thursday: “We unanimously subscribe to the view that to save India we must save Assam. To achieve that, the BJP and AGP must unite all anti-Congress forces in the state.”
It has been decided that the two parties will work together in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections as well as a future state election. They claimed they were coming together “to free Assam from the tyranny of the Congress”.
Said the statement: “The BJP and AGP will work for permanent solution to issues like the implementation of the Assam Accord, sealing of Indo-Bangladesh border and declaring floods as a national problem.”
The two parties will jointly work for “restoration of peace in Assam through meaningful political dialogue with militant outfits and granting of Scheduled Tribe status to six deserving communities as recommended by the state assembly.”
BJP president Rajnath Singh told reporters separately: “AGP is just the beginning. Many more political parties will soon join the NDA.”
The BJP and AGP had an alliance for the 2001 assembly elections in Assam, but they parted ways after failing to capture power in the state.