No alliance with BJP now, can't say about future, says AGP
By  IANS | Updated:  Feb 15, 2019, 10:34 AM
The Asom Gana Parishad on Thursday said that it had snapped ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party over the Citizenship bill but did not rule out any alliance with it in the future.
AGP president Atul Bora said that his party has come out of the alliance due to its differences with the BJP but did not emphatically rule out a possibility of tying-up with it for the upcoming general elections.
"See we have been repeatedly telling that the AGP is against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. We opposed from day one and tried our best to convince the Central government about the negative impacts of the Bill in the northeast. However, when we came to know that the BJP is going ahead with the Bill, we decided to come out and announced the same," he told media persons here.
To queries about the future, Bora said: "How can I tell you if we are going have an alliance with the BJP in future or not? I can tell you that we are not in the alliance now. The rest of the issues we have to discuss in the party forum... whether to have an alliance with it or not and how we go ahead for the Lok Sabha polls."
The AGP's differences with the BJP cropped up due to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 which seeks to speed up the process of granting citizenship to refugees from the Hindu and five other minority communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan but faced widespread opposition across the northeast due to concerns about its impact on the indigenous residents.
The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha last month but has not been passed by the Rajya Sabha, and has effectively lapsed since this was the last session of the present Lok Sabha.
"There is an election ahead of us. So how to go to the polls and whether we should join the BJP or not, how can I say?" Bora said while adding that the party will also discuss any issue with the regional political parties of the region, who stood firm shoulder to shoulder with against the Bill.
The AGP, which was a coalition partner in the BJP-led state government since 2016, withdrew from the government in January this year. While its three ministers tendered their resignations to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, he is yet to forward them to the Governor for approval.
Asked about why their resignations are yet to be accepted, Bora said that the party's ministers had resigned as per the party's decision and they were not concerned as to why the resignations had not been forwarded.
"The Assembly session is on and we have requested the Speaker to allot us seats as an opposition party," he added.
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