BJP, AGP, UPPL leaders try to assuage disgruntled party workers

Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, March 7: At a time when many local level workers of the NDA partners at many places have expressed unhappiness over the seat-sharing process and allocation of constituencies to different constituents of the ruling front, the top leaders of the BJP, the AGP and the UPPL today called upon their party members to remain united and extend cooperation to one another in the forthcoming Assam Assembly elections.

State BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass, AGP president Atul Bora and UPPL leader Pramod Boro made this appeal to their respective party workers during a joint press conference held at the BJP’s media centre here.

“Our front (NDA) will have to win the seats which have been allotted to our alliance partners if we are to achieve our target of ‘BJP plus 100 plus’. Therefore, I call upon all the BJP cadres to extend help and cooperation to the nominees of our alliance partners in the seats which have been left for them. Our target is to ensure re-election of the NDA government in Assam,” Dass said.

He added, “It is obvious that BJP cadres will want BJP candidates in their own constituencies and the same is true with regard to the AGP and UPPL workers. But at this moment people of Assam expect unity among us. So I request all the BJP cadres to selflessly assist candidates of our alliance partners. And I also request the AGP and the UPPL leaders to make sure that their party workers march side-by-side with our cadres.”

AGP’s Bora said that the NDA constituents have tied up to contest the coming elections jointly “as per the desire of the people of Assam and for the overall development of the State”.

“I call upon all the BJP cadres to assist all the AGP candidates and also all the AGP workers to extend full cooperation to the nominees of the BJP and the UPPL. All members of a political party wish to see a nominee from their own party fielded as a candidate in their local seats. But give and take is a prerequisite for success of an alliance,” Bora said.

Bora and the AGP’s top leaders have come under fire from disgruntled sections within the regional party over the seat-sharing arrangement with the BJP.

The AGP has ceded a number of seats to the BJP which the regional party had won in the 2016 elections.

Among the most controversial decisions has been the one to hand over the Barhampur seat to the BJP.

Former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta has represented Barhampur for six consecutive terms since 1991 but this time the constituency has been given to the BJP as part of the seat-sharing arrangement among the NDA partners.

Asked about the issue, Bora said that seat-sharing has taken place based on detailed analysis of all constituencies and the winnability criteria have been factored in.

He categorically denied any “conspiracy” to deprive Mahanta, who had in recent years taken a public stand against the party’s current leadership.

Bora also alleged that Mahanta has been staying away from the AGP’s affairs since past two years. He also mentioned that the former Chief Minister is also having some health issues.

“The seat adjustment process was not carried out on a person specific basis. All aspects were factored in and detailed analysis of the constituencies was undertaken jointly by all the three parties,” said the AGP president.

Bora admitted that some AGP workers may have some complaints but called upon them to stand united with other constituents of the NDA for the sake of defeating the Congress-led opposition grand alliance.

UPPL’s Pramod Boro also urged all members of his party to work in cooperation with the BJP and the AGP.

“I regret that we have not been able to give tickets to all aspirants. But our mission and vision for Assam and for the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) is much broader than merely getting tickets for the elections,” said the UPPL leader.

The BJP has allotted 26 seats to the AGP and eight to the UPPL for the Assembly polls. However, the seat-sharing process and exchange of some seats has upset local level workers of the alliance partners, mainly those belonging to the AGP.