Mahanta approached Congress for AGP's defeat: Gogoi

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Guwahati, Apr 24 (UNI) Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today claimed that former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta had approached the Congress in the last Assembly election to ensure defeat of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP).

Mr Mahanta was the founder president of the AGP and broke away from it later to form a rebel AGP(P).

Mr Gogoi's sensational disclosure came a day ahead after the AGP had decided to unite with its breakaway faction and some other parties.

Mr Mahanta in a press meet has dismissed the whole matter as absurd and termed as ''politically motivated to weaken the unification process of the regional forces.'' Mr Gogoi, after being cornered for poor governance in a press conference earlier today, alleged that Mr Mahanta had met the Congress leader Digvijay Singh, who was then in-charge of Assam affairs.

''Let him deny the fact. I told the high command not to waste energy with him. I told them that both Mr Mahanta and the AGP were spent force and we would anyway come to power. Our high command also realized the futility of having a truck with him and discarded the whole move. Mr Mahanta will now deny that but that was the truth'' Mr Gogoi said.

The sensational disclosure made the whole regional camp jittery as Mr Mahanta had always been considered the fountain head of the regional forces.

As the crucial unification meet of the AGP started, Mr Mahanta baiters within the AGP got a chance to oppose the unification while the majority of the party felt that it was 'typical' Congress move to unsettle the main Opposition.

''These are targeted at us so that unification can not take place But be sure that all the regional forces are coming together to throw away Congress from Assam,'' said Working President Phanibhusan Chouhdury.

When asked why he chose to disclose the allegation today when the unification process was well under way, Mr Gogoi said he would continue to expose Mr Mahanta as ''he is detrimental to the civil society of Assam'.

Mr Mahanta has also challenged Mr Gogoi to prove the allegation adding that the Congress was scared both of him and the regional forces.

''This will be answered in the next Lok Sabha poll,'' he said.

The splinter groups of AGP are uniting and after that AGP and BJP are all set to have a seat sharing agreement and this has been acknowledged by both BJP vice-president Bijoya Chakrvarty as well as AGP working president Chandra Mohan Patowary.

UNI MT PP LS VC1705

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