GUWAHATI, March 14 � Giving a boost to the defection-ridden regional party less than a month before the general elections, former Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) president Brindaban Goswami today visited the party�s head office here after a gap of over five years and pledged his support to the spirit of regional politics.
Meanwhile, the AGP manifesto was released today, which touches a number of issues including the foreigners� problem, land swap deal with Bangladesh, issue of flood and erosion, federal structure and decentralisation, law and order, price rise, corruption, among others.
Goswami made a dramatic entry during a ceremony to release AGP�s manifesto for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. He was greeted by AGP president PK Mahanta, other senior leaders and workers of the party.
Addressing the gathering, Goswami said that only regional parties and regionalism can solve the problems faced by Assam.
�I felt I should also shoulder my responsibilities... I have never fought for leadership or any position. Even when I was heading the party, I ran it democratically,� he said, adding that he had never sought Lok Sabha ticket for Tezpur constituency and such reports were mere rumours.
�We all must unite not merely for the forthcoming polls but for the future of the party. So I came here today to encourage all the workers of the party and assure all the people about my support,� Goswami said.
He asked all leaders who have left the regional party in recent months to return to the party and work unitedly.
Speaking on the occasion, Mahanta expressed happiness about the visit of Goswami to the party office after the long interval.
�He (Goswami) is with the party and he will remain with the party. All of us will march ahead together to strengthen the party and the spirit of regional politics,� said the former two-time Chief Minister.
He said the national parties are trying to gobble up the regional forces and said only regional parties can solve problems faced by the country.
Meanwhile, Tezpur MP Joseph Toppo, who had yesterday resigned from the party did a U-turn today and attended the general body meeting held at the party headquarters.
Toppo�s name was announced as the candidate from Tezpur for the elections next month.
Asked by reporters about his U-turn, Toppo refrained from giving a direct reply and said the party has refused to accept his resignation. He also said the matter has nothing to do with the nomination from Tezpur constituency.
Former Union Minister Birendra Prasad Baishya, who will be contesting from the Guwahati Lok Sabha seat on AGP ticket, said Goswami�s return to active party work will strengthen the organisation. He expressed hope that expelled party legislator Padma Hazarika will also cooperate with the regional forces.