BJP, AGP strike tacit deal on seats

The BJP and its former ally AGP have reached an understanding over the forthcoming Assam assembly polls. While ‘officially’ the two parties will be contesting as separate entities, party sources disclosed that both have reached an understanding whereby each will field a ‘weak’ candidate if a constituency is the stronghold of the other party.
While AGP is the main Opposition in the current state assembly with 24 members, BJP has 10 members. Elections to the 126-members state assembly are scheduled on April 4 and 11.
Party sources disclosed that the top brass of both BJP and AGP have reached an understanding on fielding weak candidates on assembly seats where either one has a stronghold.
The issue of ‘secret deal’ between the two former allies had created quite an uproar within the BJP state unit, with senior state leader including three-time MP Rajen Gohain resigning as vice-chairman of the party’s election campaign committee. But the BJP central leadership, which is hopeful of bettering its performance in the assembly polls, remains firm on its understanding with the AGP, sources said.
Though leaders of both the parties do not rule out a possible post-poll alliance, it will largely depend on the number of seats both parties win. Both AGP and BJP have declared to contest all the 126 assembly seats.
After the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, AGP had snapped ties with the BJP after the former performed badly in the parliamentary polls.
Also, BJP is seen as a pro-Hindu party and there are around 30 Muslim-dominated Assembly berths in the state where the AGP wants to mark its presence.

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