NEW DELHI, Feb 20 � Major regional parties of the north-eastern States in principle today decided to form a platform named as �Northeastern Democratic Front� to unitedly take up common issues of the region. The front would unitedly fight election wherever possible. This was disclosed by PA Sangma, former Lok Sabha Speaker and NCP leader.
The parties decided to form the Front in Guwahati soon.
The move shows some positive signs as some of the region�s bigger regional parties showed up for a meeting to revive the regional plank.
The meeting, which got under way at Sangma�s Aurangzeb Road House around 6.30 pm, was attended by AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary, Opposition leader Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, AGP leaders Kumar Deepak Das and Biren Baishya, among others. Chief Minister of Nagaland N Rio and Chief Minister of Sikkim Pawan Kumar Chamling and the representatives of People�s Party of Arunachal, Manipur People�s Party, Trinamool Congress and Mizo National Front and other regional leaders also attended the meeting.
The timing of revival of the regional plank is significant. AGP has this time decided to maintain distance from national parties, mainly the BJP, and opted to join hands with smaller regional parties. The regional party, though, is in a quandary over openly joining hands with the Badruddin Ajmal-led AUDF. Both the parties see a common enemy in the Tarun Gogoi-led Congress Government.
This is Sangma�s third attempt at bringing all the regional parties together. In 2009, he had made attempts to revive the defunct North East People�s Front after being fed up with the �dirty tricks of Congress party�. The North East People�s Front was launched about seven years ago.
At least 13 non-Congress parties had then joined hands. The parties then included the AGP, BJP, Manipur People�s Party, Nagaland People�s Front, Bodoland People�s Front, PLP, Kamtapur Progressive Party and AUDF, among others. The Front had resolved to work out a unified poll strategy to fight Congress in the 2009 parliamentary elections.
But the move came a cropper after AGP joined hands with BJP and fought the parliamentary poll as alliance partners.
The North East States together have the strength of 25 MPs in the Lok Sabha, out of which14 are from Assam.