GUWAHATI, March 12 - Though the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) has come into an electoral understanding with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the regional party has asserted that it has not given up the issues for which it has been fighting for years. Meanwhile, the AGP and BJP have agreed to formulate a common minimum programme for the ensuing polls.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, AGP president Atul Bora said that his party has not changed its stand on the issue of providing shelter to Hindu Bangladeshi nationals who came to Assam after March 25, 1971. He said that the AGP would not go against the Assam Accord and its stand on foreigners would not change.
It may be mentioned here that the NDA Government at the Centre has decided to provide shelter to Bangladeshi nationals who entered India even after 1971 because of religious persecution in their own country and the decision evoked widespread opposition in Assam.
Bora said that the AGP has not changed its stand on continuing with the Special Category State status for Assam, river linking, etc., despite the electoral alliance with the BJP.
The AGP president said that the AGP and BJP would come up with a common minimum programme soon and both the parties have started working on it. He said that in addition to that, the AGP would come up with its own election manifesto.
Bora tried to justify the decision to come into an electoral alliance with the BJP and said that they decided to do so only to remove the Congress from power. He admitted that party workers in some parts of the State were not happy with the alliance and appealed to them that in the �larger interest of the State,� they should accept the decision and work together to defeat the Congress. He said that the party office-bearers are talking with senior members including former president of the party, Thaneswar Boro, who are opposed to the alliance.
At the same time, Bora expressed the hope that all BJP workers would also realise the importance of the alliance to defeat the Congress.