GUWAHATI, Jan 8 - Former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta today said that the BJP-led government in Dispur has lost the moral right to continue in office after the departure of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) from the ruling alliance.
Addressing a press conference here today, Mahanta said that the government, which came to power in 2016, was elected on the basis of a pre-poll alliance in which the BJP, the AGP and the BPF were partners. He called upon the BJP to face the electorate afresh.
�The people of Assam had voted this pre-poll alliance to power. The BJP, having more MLAs, got the Chief Minister�s post as well as many other major ministries. But now that the AGP has quit the pre-poll alliance, the BJP should show its guts and seek a fresh mandate from the electorate,� Mahanta said.
He added, �The State government should resign. The BJP has no moral right to continue in office. I am talking about moral, not legal, right.�
He, however, said that it was his personal opinion.
Mahanta also commented that many of the BJP�s current MLAs would not have been able to get elected in the 2016 Assembly polls if there had been no pre-poll alliance.
He alleged that after the formation of the alliance government, the BJP, the senior partner, failed to follow coalition dharma and took some unilateral decisions.
The AGP has been opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, since the beginning, Mahanta said.
�As the founder president of the AGP, I had urged our party leadership on several occasions to take a firm stand against the Bill. Now, our party has finally snapped its ties with the BJP and we welcome it,� said the senior AGP leader.
He admitted that it would have been better if the regional party had come out of the alliance earlier. �Then, we would not have faced so much public criticism,� said Mahanta. �
The former Chief Minister said that the BJP had introduced the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill for political reasons, and this Bill and the issue of granting Schedule Tribe status to six communities of Assam are two separate things.
�Before placing the Bill in Parliament, the government should have disclosed the exact number of persecuted Hindus and other minorities of neighbouring countries who have sought shelter in India,� Mahanta said.