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BJP rules out poll alliance with AGP


NEW DELHI, March 8 � Setting all speculations at rest, BJP State president Sarbananda Sonowal today ruled out any possibility of an alliance with the AGP for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Talking to this newspaper soon after the BJP announced candidates for five seats in Assam, Sonowal said the chapter has been closed. �We have moved on and this issue is past now,� he said.

The BJP decision to name candidates only for five seats led to speculations that the saffron party is still keeping a small window open for AGP. However, it was later clarified that the next list of candidates would be announced on March 13.

�There is no possibility of an alliance. The reason we could not announce candidates for all seats was that some of our leaders had to go out of the city and matters of other States were also pending,� said Sonowal, who has been fielded from Lakhimpur.

The BJP election committee today cleared its list of candidates for six States of Odisha, Karnataka, Kerala, West Bengal, Tripura and Assam.

�But we have all given our opinion on candidates for the rest of the seats. So we need not meet again, the election committee would decide and make the announcement later,� said Sonowal.

Later, Ananth Kumar briefing newsmen about the outcome of the election committee meeting, said that the meeting chaired by national president Rajnath Singh, was attended by LK Advani, chairman of the BJP Parliamentary Party, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley among others.

Today, the three sitting MPs including Bijoya Chakraborty (Guwahati), Ramen Deka (Mangaldai) and Rajen Gohain (Nagaon) have been re-nominated. A decision on sitting MP Kabindra Purkayastha representing Silchar LS, has been put on hold. Senior leader of the tea community Kamakhya Tasa has been nominated for Jorhat, while Sonowal would take on Union Minister of State Ranee Narah in Lakhimpur.

Meanwhile, several senior AGP leaders including its former president Chandra Mohan Patowary, along with Hiten Goswami, are joining the BJP here next week in presence of the party�s central leaders, Sonowal confirmed.

Sonowal, however, refuted media reports that Patowary is being fielded from the Barpeta Lok Sabha seat. �No such decision has been taken as yet,� he clarified.

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