AGP president appeals for poll campaign without slander

March 13th, 2009 - 12:05 pm ICT by IANS  

By Syed Zarir Hussain
Guwahati, March 13 (IANS) Chandra Mohan Patowary, president of Assam’s main opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), has appealed to politicians to avoid slanderous personal attacks and inflammatory speeches while campaigning for next month’s parliamentary elections.

“Things are already getting dirty with Congress leaders starting a vilification campaign, prompting us to counter such charges with equally harsh words. People of Assam really don’t like such war of words and don’t expect us to behave in such manner,” the AGP president told IANS.

The war of words has turned bitter between the two main rivals - the Congress and the AGP-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine - ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

It started with the Congress accusing the AGP of being a party of “prostitutes” after they stitched a pre-poll pact with the BJP.

Patowary countered the charges at a press conference by calling Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi a “servant” of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

“I didn’t want to term the chief minister a servant, but as leader of the AGP I had to defend my party and hence used such a bad word. Let the Congress party apologise and after that I am ready to say sorry for using the word servant,” Patowary said.

The AGP leader also challenged the Congress party to prove charges that the tie-up with the BJP was made possible after monetary transactions.

“We have not surrendered before the BJP and no financial transactions took place. Our treasurer Padma Hazarika said in public he would resign as a legislator if such charges could be proved,” the AGP chief said.

Exuding confidence that the AGP-BJP combine would be able to beat the Congress in Assam, Patowary said: “The people of Assam are sick and tired of the Congress and looking for a change and that change is coming in the form of the AGP-BJP combine.”

Terming the Asom United Democratic Front (AUDF) led by perfume baron Badruddin Ajmal as a party that would have a lot of bearing on the elections, Patowary said the AGP would have preferred an alliance with the AUDF for better performance.

“The AUDF would definitely be a factor in the polls and I must admit we would have been very happy if we could have forged an alliance with the AUDF and the other Left parties. We tried our best but somehow things did not work out,” Patowary said.

“But even now with the BJP, we are confident of performing much better than the Congress,” he added.

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