AGP's united Opposition hopes shattered: AUDF quits over BJP ties

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Guwahati, Oct 19 (UNI) The prospects of an united anti-Congress front in Assam suffered a major blow today with the Asom United Democratic Front (AUDF), a key Opposition member with minority strongholds, distancing itself from the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) camp for the latter's association with the BJP.

An AUDF executive body decided to abandon any attempt at any possible association with the AGP and sounded ready for picking the leader's mettle for a third front in the state, while a BJP executive meeting resolved to carry forward the seat sharing arrangement reached with the AGP.

The AGP, after re-uniting its splinter groups, had now concentrated on forming a non-Congress alliance for the polls, with the BJP already on board.

However, the BJP's entrance had raised questions on possible tie-ups with AUDF and the Left parties, with the latter still to make its final decision. The AUDF has also indicated that it was working towards a third front, with allies in Left parties and NCP. Informing about the AUDF's late last night decision to sideline from the AGP, AUDF working president HRA Choudhury today said, '' We are snapping all ties for any possible link-ups with the AGP for the Parliamentary polls due to its association with the BJP. '' AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary formally communicated his party's arrangement with BJP to AUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal last evening ahead of the AUDF's executive.

Mr Choudhury also reiterated the AUDF's anti-Congress stand and stated that it would contest the polls alone if needed but won't forge any ties with the BJP or Congress, even covertly. However, the AUDF leaders' recent hobnobbing with the Samajwadi Party (SP) was being constructed as an indirect way of coming closer to the Congress, though it leaders strongly rejected it.

On the other hand, a two-day BJP state executive that concluded today formed an election management committee to pursue the seat sharing arrangement reached with the AGP, BJP state observer Harendra Pratap informed.

The AGP had emerged as a key player for the BJP-led NDA in the latter's plans to grab power in New Delhi.

AGP chief Patowary had informed that the party had been informed to join the NDA, though it was still undecided on the issue.

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