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Fate of BJP-BPF-AGP alliance hangs in balance

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, March 3 - The fate of the alliance between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Bodoland People�s Front (BPF) and Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) for the ensuing polls to the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) hangs in balance, even though the alliance will continue in the State level and for the coming Rajya Sabha polls.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, State BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass said that the party is yet to take the final decision on the BTR polls. He, however, said that the alliance in the State level would continue. He revealed that the leaders of the BJP and BPF, including Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and BPF president Hagrama Mahilary, met yesterday to discuss strategies for the ensuing Rajya Sabha polls for three seats.

The parties decided that the alliance would continue for the Rajya Sabha polls and one seat would go to the BPF. The BPF has already decided to nominate Biswajit Daimary, whose tenure is coming to an end, for the election with the support of the BJP.

Dass said that the BJP has not yet selected its own candidate for the Rajya Sabha polls. He admitted that several senior members of the party have expressed their desire to contest the polls. He said that the State unit would send the names and the final selection would be made by the parliamentary board of the party. The BJP is not thinking of contesting the third seat but Dass said that if the Opposition parties fail to put up a consensus candidate, the BJP would put up its own candidate for the third seat also.

On the issue of alliance for the BTR polls scheduled to be held in April, Dass admitted that the BJP is yet to take the final decision. He said that the party had earlier appointed 25 observers to assess the situation on the ground and submit their reports.

He said that as per the reports received from the ground, �we are sure of winning at least 16 seats.� But the State unit of the party has not yet taken the final decision on alliance and formed a three-member committee comprising minister Bhabesh Kalita, Member of Parliament Dilip Saikia and MLA Ashwini Roy Sarkar to carry out a study of the ground situation and to submit a report. The State unit of the BJP would take the final decision on alliance only after receiving the report of the committee.

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