BJP-AGP eyeing ten seats in Assam

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Guwahati, Sep 5 (UNI) The BJP and the Asom Gana Parisad (AGP) combine are eying ten of 14 Parliamenatry seats in the state.

Both the camps, buoyed by their performances in the last two Lok Sabha as well as Assembly elections, were confident that they could wipe out the Congress from Assam.

''The Congress is surviving because of split in non Congress votes in Assam. If we can combine then the Congress's game is over. This time that is not going to happen,'' said BJP national Vice-President Bijoya Chkarvarty to newsmen today.

The BJP central leadership yesterday endorsed its state unit's move to forge a pre-poll pact with the AGP, even as its leader L K Advani firmed up plans to tour the flood affected districts of the state.

The AGP, fighting hard to bring back all the splinter regional groups into one fold before starting seat sharing dialogue with BJP, are equally optimistic.

''We are hopeful that seat sharing will take place and we will fight election together,'' said AGP Vice-President Chandra Mohan Patowary.

A core committee meeting of the BJP yesterday discussed the political scenario in Assam, identifying the illegal influx problem as the main poll plank. The meeting was presided over by BJP national president Rajnath Singh. Opposition leaders, LK Advani, Jaswant Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Anant Kumar and Arun Jeitley participated.

The BJP state leadership led by its president Ramen Deka was present. Others who attended included Lok Sabha MPs, Rajen Gohain, Narayan Borkotoki, Bijoya Chakravarty, Kabindra Purkayastha, Mission Ranjan Das and Ranjit Dutta.

The meeting held at the BJP national headquarters lasted about two hours, with senior party leaders taking stock of the prevailing political and the flood situation in the state. Deka briefed the Central leadership about the political scenario and the party's strategy to fight the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.

''The situation in Assam is favourable for BJP and the NDA alliance with a non-performing Congress Government in place. We can hope to win a good number of seats contributing to the NDA kitty,'' said the state BJP president Ramen Deka.

The BJP today nominated its Rajya Sabha leader Jaswant Singh and Sushma Swaraj as its points-persons to negotiate with the AGP, same in the line of the Regional Party's six-member committee. The state leadership has also been kept in the loop, said Deka.

The Central leadership would first formalize the modalities for negotiations with the AGP, he said. The AGP's six-member panel has already held one round of preliminary discussion with Mrs Swaraj.

The Congress, wary of the fast moving development, has almost won over the Asom United Democratic Front(AUDF) and it a is matter of time before the party melts into Congress.

UNI MT PL DB1603

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