NEW DELHI, March 10 � In a major jolt to the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), its former president Chandra Mohan Patowary and senior leader Hiten Goswami were today formally inducted into the BJP by its national president Rajnath Singh.
Both the leaders had quit the AGP last week, citing differences with the party�s leadership and policies.
The brief induction ceremony was held at the BJP�s national headquarters at Ashoka Road this morning in presence of State president Sarbananda Sonowal, the party�s MPs Ramen Deka, Bijoya Chakraborty and Kabindra Purkayastha, besides vice president and in-charge for Assam, SS Ahluwalia.
Describing Patowary as a very capable leader, Rajnath Singh said the former AGP president has carried out many tasks with responsibility. He has played a very active and influential role in the State�s politics, he said.
Patowary was made a member of the party�s central election committee (CEC) and is tipped to be nominated for the Barpeta Lok Sabha seat.
Hiten Goswami though, denied any possibility of seeking party nomination to contest from the Jorhat Lok Sabha seat, stating that he would like to first work for the party.
Patowary said that when he was president of the AGP he had tried unsuccessfully to unite the party. The unity move did not make much progress and instead cracks started surfacing in the regional party.
�I had repeatedly mentioned in the party that those who had resigned from the party should be asked to withdraw their resignation. Our united strength of regionalism should not be allowed to be divided. Besides, I had raised several issues regarding party culture. I had insisted on an alliance with BJP, but the leadership did not agree,� he said.
�In the last two years they did not agree with me and finally I decided to join BJP, which was closely associated with the Assam agitation,� he said.
Patowary made it clear that his ideal of regionalism would be alive. �I believe that BJP will be the ideal ground to fulfil whatever ideals and targets I have.�
On contesting the Lok Sabha elections, he said he has left it to the BJP to decide. The BJP�s next round of CEC meeting is scheduled on March 13, when the party is likely to finalise the candidates for the remaining seats.