A fractured opposition in AssamBy IANS
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
GUWAHATI - A fractured opposition in Assam is causing jitters in the opposition camp ahead of next year’s assembly elections with parties charging the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) of failing to put together a united platform to challenge the ruling Congress.
“This is an era of coalition politics and unless there is opposition unity, the Congress party could find it easy to bounce back to power once again,” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Assam unit president Ranjit Dutta told IANS.
The AGP, Assam’s main opposition, recently snapped ties with the BJP thereby leaving the opposition camp totally disjointed.
“We are gearing up on our own to fight the elections and are very confident to perform well. We are also trying to work out some alliance with like-minded regional parties,” the BJP president said.
But the BJP president was bitter about the AGP’s decision to snap ties.
“The AGP’s decision to break the alliance was surprising indeed,” Dutta said.
With the opposition camp fractured and no signs of any tangible pre-poll tie-ups, leaders from within the AGP too are worried.
“I don’t think it was right for the AGP leadership to have snapped the alliance with the BJP,” senior AGP leader Atul Bora said.
However, parties like the Asom United Democratic Front (AUDF) are playing the cat and mouse game.
“AGP leader Prafulla Kumar Mahanta telephoned me to sit for a meeting (explore possibilities for electoral tie up). But our stand as of now is that we are fighting the polls alone,” AUDF president Badruddin Ajmal told IANS.
“It is true that without opposition unity, the Congress party could be benefitted,” Ajmal said.
The AGP is, however, scouting for partners - other then the BJP.
“We are looking for smaller regional partners. No doubt people of Assam are looking for a change and we are ready to provide that,” AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary said.
But the Congress seems unfazed.
“We are not worried - let the AGP and the BJP look for partners. No combinations can challenge us as we worked the last two terms for the welfare of the people,” Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said.