Assam minister criticises AGP-AUDF ties

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Guwahati, Mar 23 (UNI) Assam Health Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sharma today criticised the main opposition party Asom Gana Parishad's (AGP) recent overtures towards the 'communal' Asom United Democratic Front (AUDF) on the pretext of 'unification of the opposition to defeat the Congress.' Addressing a press conference here, Dr Sharma said ''The AGP, formed after the historic people's movement, should have displayed some semblance of respect for the ideologies it was constituted upon.'' ''It has bypassed the regional character it boosted of for political gains and is now befriending the AUDF and its chief Badruddin Ajmal, losing the little stand and respect the AGP still commanded,'' he added.

Dr Sharma said the ties between the two parties were evident when the AUDF supported the AGP candidate in the recent Rajya Sabha polls, but matters went to the worse when the AGP backed AUDF candidate's in the Panchayat body formation polls.

He said ''The AGP is alarmed that it lack leaders and is looking up to Mr Ajmal as its lone refuge.'' The minister also took a dig at BJP and other political parties for forging ties with rival parties on the pretext of a common agenda of defeating the ruling Congress.

He said ''The opposition's approach should be issue-based if they really want to defeat the Congress. But they are building contradictory coalitions in the name of politics and the Congress stands to gain by exposing such double-standards.'' Dismissing charges that the Congress was alarmed because of the unification of the opposition, Dr Sharma said ''The Congress will gain by exposing the hypocrisy of the opposition parties.'' UNI SG ADG SS1656

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