NEW DELHI, Feb 24 �The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) has opened preliminary discussions, albeit discreetly, with the BJP central leadership to explore the possibility of a poll tie-up.
Highly placed sources said that AGP working president Atul Bora led a delegation of party leaders and held discussions with senior BJP leader SS Ahluwallia late last evening.
BJP sources said the talks were preliminary and more of an exploratory nature. Significantly, Atul Bora when contacted denied having met Ahluwallia. However, senior BJP leaders confirmed the meeting.
The BJP president and the general secretary in-charge of Assam, Ramlal were closeted with AGP leaders this evening, discussing the issue of forging an alliance in the face of tough opposition by the State unit. The meeting reportedly remained inconclusive, said sources.
The regional party has been playing its cards close to its chest and is weighing all options including joining the third front. Party chief Prafulla Kumar Mahanta had earlier joined the meeting of regional parties convened by SP president, Mulayam Singh Yadav.
BJP sources said that their problem is the stiff opposition by the State unit, which wants to go it alone in the ensuing Lok Sabha polls. However, a senior Central BJP leader said it is important that a regional party like AGP is kept alive in Assam in the larger interest.
This is perhaps one of the reasons why BJP�s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi refrained from attacking the AGP in his public meetings in Assam.