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Ahead of counting, AGP shuts door on BJP

Written by: Staff
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Guwahati, May 10 (UNI) With less than 24 hours left for counting of votes in Asom, the AGP today indicated that it will make the AUDF its post-poll ally, shutting doors on the BJP and the Prafulla Kumar Mahanta facion of the party.

'' The AGP will not compromise on the interest of the state, '' party president Brindabon Goswami told UNI here.

''Except the immigration issue, there are not much differences between the AGP and Asom United Democratic Front (AUDF). Both are of regional character with regional aspirations. It will be easier to work with them,'' he said.

The AGP negated the possibility of making the BJP its ally. With Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh and Telegu Desam Party supremo Chandrababu Naidu playing the role of moderators, the BJP has become 'untouchable' for the AGP, he said.

''Except in 2001, we have never joined hands with the BJP due to our ideological differences with them,'' Mr Goswami added.

According to the AGP sources, the party president had a round of meetings with AUDF president at the behest of the Telegu Desam Party and Samjwadi Party (SP) and has struck a deal.

The AGP is also not interested in making the Prafulla Kumar Mahanta faction of the AGP(P) its partner.

''We had major differences with them and that is why the AGP(P) broke away,'' he said.

With Mr Goswami determined to take the AGP into prominence in the proposed third front, representatives of his newly found partners--the TDP and the Samajwadi Party--are expected in Guwahati tomorrow.

The Congress sources admitted that before their state president could snatch a deal, the AGP moved fast and notched up the AUDF.

''We have to break the AUDF and win over a section of the party workers to our side,'' said the Congress source adding that since the AUDF is yet to be a recognized party, anti-defection laws would not apply.

UNI MT JYN PL VD RN1259

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