GUWAHATI, March 17 � There seems to be a tug-of-war in the regional Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) on the issue of party presidentship. While former chief minister and elected president of the party Prafulla Kumar Mahanta is pleading for his reinstatement as party president after expiry of six months on leave, working president Atul Bora, who is president-in-charge of the party, is ostensibly reluctant to relinquish the post.
Sources close to Mahanta told this newspaper that Mahanta had written a letter to Atul Bora on March 13, 2015 requesting him to hand over charge in view of the fact that he has now recovered from his health problems for which he was on leave for six months.
Mahanta stated in his letter that he had expressed his desire to take temporary leave for six months only from his responsibilities as party president due to ill-health and personal reasons at the party�s general house meeting held on July 15, 2014.
According to sources, the general house, which is the highest decision making body of the party, had adopted a resolution that day stating � �As permissible under Clause 29(2) of the constitution of the Asom Gana Parishad, the working president of the party will be discharging the duties of the president as president-in-charge for the period of the said six months with effect from July 16, 2014.�
Mahanta had apprised the Election Commission of India on August 2, 2014 of the provisional arrangement. But surprisingly, Bora on the contrary, had tried to impress upon the Election Commission that he was authorised by the general house of the party to continue as president of the party till its next general conference. This is nothing but a travesty of the truth, said the sources close to Mahanta.
But, nowhere in the constitution of the party is it mentioned that the general house can authorise any party member or leader to assume complete charge of the party president. Because, the party president must be elected by the party members, sources said.
Moreover, there was a decision of the party to constitute the district committees of the party within three months from July 15, 2014, and, then within the subsequent three months, the general conference of the party would be held. But these two decisions are yet to be implemented by Bora, sources said.
When contacted, AGP general secretary (administration) Dr Kamala Kalita told this newspaper that the July 15, 2014 meeting of the party general house authorised Bora to assume charge of party president till the next general conference of the party. Then again, the general house of the party on January 5, 2015 ratified the July 15, 2014 decision, he said.
The issue is totally an internal one of the party. How it could reach the media is a matter of investigation. The issue would be discussed in the appropriate party forums, said Dr Kalita.