AGP inching forward for total unification

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Guwahati, Sep 26 (UNI) Taking another step towards total unification, the Asom Gana Parishad today held a meeting with the AGP(P) for the final round of discussion after successful parleys with other splinter groups like Trinamool Gana Parishad and Purbanchaliya Loka Parishad (PLP).

The 11-member unification committee of the AGP and the delegation of the AGP(P) met at the residence of MLA Kamala Kalita. The AGP team was led by their working president Phanibhusan Chouhdury while the AGP(P) was led by Utpal Dutta and Sahdiul Alam Chouhdury.

All these parties had split from the AGP during the past decade and the year-long unification process is now about to be completed.

The TGP and PLP had already announced that all their merger formalities were over.

However, there was an obstacle in the path of the AGP(P), led by former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, as the parent AGP insisted, through a decision of their highest body, the general council, that no leader who returns would be provided any post in the AGP for the next three years. AGP sources said this decision had not gone down well with the AGP(P) leadership.

''There are no problems in the merger. These are all rumours created by the media. All the parties have agreed in principle and it is now a question of mere formalities,'' Mr Phanibhusan Choudhury said, adding that all these political parties would merge on October 14, the 23rd foundation day of the AGP.

Mr Sahidul Alam Choudhury too expressed satisfaction and claimed that the leader's post would not be a problem for the unification.

''At this moment unification of all smaller and bigger regional forces is important. Individual and party posts are too insignificant. For the sake of the region's unity, I had worked as an ordinary member and I shall again do that,'' Mr Mahanta, whose return to the party was opposed by All Assam Students Union (AASU), said.

Meanwhile, the AASU is scheduled to hold its executive meeting at Guwahati University later tonight to discuss their future course of action.

''We shall continue to oppose Mr Mahanta's return to the AGP as he was involved in the secret killings. At the same time we want all the regional forces to unite,'' AASU advisor Samujjal Bhattacharrya said.

The AGP formula of not giving post to three years to any returnee is actually an attempt to placate the AASU whose support they desperately need to be a force to reckon with. The AGP sources informed that the new clause of three-year ban should improve the relationship between the AGP and the AASU.

UNI MT PL KLC1435

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