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Breaking: Prafulla Mahanta, ‘denied’ party ticket, reaches out to Congress

GUWAHATI: With his political future hanging in the balance, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, two-time chief minister from Assam, and one of the founding fathers of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), has reached out to the Congress camp.

This was confirmed by Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) chairman, who said that the AGP veteran had “reached out” to the grand old party.

“He has indeed contacted us. However, at this moment, I would like to refrain from saying what we talked about,” said Bora.

It is being speculated that Mahanta has reached out to the Congress camp in a last-ditch attempt to join the party’s mahajuth (grand alliance), which has been bolstered by the joinings of the Bodoland People’s Front and Jimosaya Deori People’s Party.

Mahanta, who is being denied a ticket by the AGP-BJP-UPPL alliance, is seeking a revival of the defunct political party Asom Gana Parishad (Pragatishil) which is reportedly eyeing to contest from 15 Constituencies. Mahanta has said that if the AGP does not give him a ticket to contest polls from his home Constituency of Barhampur, he will contest from the AGP (P).

According to reports, a BJP candidate will contest the polls from Barhampur, which is a part of the Nowgong Lok Sabha Constituency.

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Notably, Mahanta, a prominent leader of the Assam agitation to evict ‘illegal foreigners’, had expressed displeasure at the BJP-led government’s move to enact the ‘pro-foreigner’ Citizenship Amendment act. The Assam agitation had ended with the signing of the historic Assam Accord in 1985 which was followed by the birth of the AGP and the state elections.

With the BJP hell-bent on denying former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta from contesting from his Barhampur seat, the AGP (P), led by him, is all set to hammer the last nail into the Asom Gana Parishad’s (AGP) coffin.

According to sources, the AGP(P) is preparing to field candidates from at least 10 seats and most the seats have been AGP bastions since 1985 when the AGP came into existence. Mahanta is likely to contest from both Barhampur and Kaliabor.

Brindaban Goswami, sitting MLA from Tezpur, is another prominent AGP leader who has been denied a ticket, and it will be interesting to see if he switches to Mahanta’s AGP (P) if it is revived.

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