GUWAHATI: A day after the BJP in Assam dared ally Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) to walk out of the alliance and pull out its support to the three-party ruling coalition, the AGP, on Monday, lobbed the alliance ball on BJP president Amit Shah’s court.
Miffed over the AGP’s opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which the BJP wants to pass to legitimise the stay of non-Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who migrated to India till December 31, 2014. Assam minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday said the AGP was at liberty to sever its ties with the saffron party if it so desired. He said the BJP was ready to face any consequences.
The comment stirred the hornet’s nest, with opposition Congress and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) slamming the AGP for “shamelessly” hanging on to power despite being “insulted” by the BJP.
“If they (AGP) have a spine, they should sever their ties with the BJP and pull out their support to the government,” AIUDF chief and Lok Sabha member Maulana Badruddin Ajmal said.
The Congress, too, was critical of the AGP for not ending the alliance with the BJP.
“If they (AGP) have self-respect, they should not waste a minute in pulling out their support to the government,” Congress leader and former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said.
In the wake of the brouhaha, top AGP leaders met in Guwahati on Monday to discuss Sarma’s jibe and the party’s alliance with the BJP. An AGP insider said the party had decided to raise the issue of Sarma’s outbursts and its alliance with Amit Shah.
“The AGP will write to Amit Shah and ask if Sarma’s position on the alliance was the official stand of the BJP’s central leadership. The AGP is approaching Shah, as it was in consultation with him that the party had forged an alliance with the BJP ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha polls,” the AGP insider said.
Bora said, “We had forged an alliance with the BJP by believing in Modi’s commitment ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections that the illegal Bangladeshi immigrants would be driven out of the country if the BJP is voted to power.”
Tenuous political ties under fresh strain
Assam minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday said the AGP was at liberty to sever its ties with the saffron party if it so desired. He said the BJP was ready to face any consequences.