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Himanta says all is well; AGP sounds wary over seat sharing with BJP

GUWAHATI: The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) appeared to be a disappointed lot when they left party chief Atul Bora’s residence, where they had gathered to hold a discussion over seat sharing with ally BJP, in a hurry this afternoon.

After being kept waiting for long by its ruling ally BJP that has been insisting on the lion’s share, the AGP sounded adamant on an “uncompromising” stance over the impasse.

Winding up a brief discussion between the two parties, North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma said there was no discord between the two parties. “There is nothing sort of discord in the seat sharing issue. This is a democratic process. It’s natural for everybody to aspire. Everything will be finalised by Wednesday evening,” the influential minister said.

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AGP working president Keshab Mahanta also said a final decision would be taken in Delhi on March 4.

Even as most of the leaders of both the parties had turned up Bora’s official residence for a discussion after last afternoon’s inconclusive talks, AGP leader Brindaban Goswami, who left the venue ahead of others, said the BJP leadership was showing little interest in the discussion.

“We’ve not discussed on it yet,” Goswami said.

Expressing displeasure over the reported arithmetic that the AGP might have to face ‘friendly contests’ with BJP in most its strongholds, AGP leader Monoj Saikia said: “There’s no question of compromise as we are going to contest in more seats than earlier.”

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Former transport minister and AGP MLA from Amguri Pradip Hazarika said seat sharing hasn’t been finalised yet. “Our party will decide what to do if we do not get desired number of seats. But, we want 40 seats,” Hazarika said announcing that he was all set for the election and wanted party ticket.

West Guwahati’s AGP MLA Ramendra Nayaran Kalita also echoed a similar view with Hazarika when he said: “BJP will, of course, eye the West Guwahati seat. But, my ground is stronger there and everything will be cleared once this discussion ends.”

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BJP’s Mangaldoi MP Dilip Saikia last evening said everything would be cleared after the party’s observers’ reports of the 60 seats the party represented in the last term is discussed here this evening. The BJP leadership will assess the observers’ reports at the party headquarters here this evening.

Saikia indicated that the under-performers would be replaced by other candidates.

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