Advani strengthens anti-Congress alliance in Assam

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Guwahati, Sep 29 (UNI) In view of the coming Lok Sabha elections, the alliance of anti-Congress forces in Assam has been gaining strength with BJP's prime ministerial candidate L K Advani taking it upon himself to cement the ties.

Mr Advani met the Rabiram group of the Bodos, former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta and, most importantly, a full-fledged delegation of the AGP, led by its president Chandra Mohan Patowary, separately last night at Guwahati, leaving enough indication of what would be coming up in the Lok Sabha polls.

''We all have to work together to oust the Congress and UPA from power,'' he said to the mediapersons. The BJP has been trying to include the AGP into its fold, which has consolidated itself by bringing together all its factions.

''We met Mr Advani and sought his assurance in complete implementation of the Assam accord if voted to power. We wanted his assurance on the flood protection work, insurgency and reservation of six tribes. He assured that it would be taken up on priority basis if voted to power,'' Mr Patowary said.

The AGP and BJP have struck a seat-sharing deal for the upcoming Lok Sabha poll and it received a formal stamp of approval from the BJP top brass as a five member AGP delegation called on the Leader of the Opposition.

Later, Mr Patowary said there were some minor issues to be sorted out but the seat-sharing deal had largely been agreed upon.

Both the BJP and the AGP have decided to contest in six seats each, leaving four seats for other tribal and regional parties. Both the parties feel that a united front would make a serious dent into the Congress stronghold. the Congress has nine seats while the BJP and the AGP have two seats in Lok Sabha.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Advani said with the support of the AGP, the chance of forming NDA government would be brighter and also promised more attention to the region if voted to power.

The AGP, for the past six months, has been veering towards the BJP and the alliance gained momentum after removal of AGP's former president Brindabon Goswmai last fortnight, who was closer to the third front, avoiding the BJP.

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