|Major Events Vol. 2 Issue No. 12||October 1 - 15, 2005|
Mahanta floats new outfit
Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) suffers yet another split as its founder president Prafulla Mahanta launches a new political party.
Prafulla Mahanta’s new party was to be born on September 15. But his astrologer said that on September 14 at 6 pm, the stars and planets would be in perfect position to launch his party. With the turmoil in his career for the last two years, Mahanta really needs the stars in his favour to start a new innings. So September 14 saw the two-time former chief minister of Assam launching his new party Asom Gana Parishad (Progressive).
As expected Mahanta was named as the president of the new party after a resolution was adopted on the first day of the two-day political convention organized by his supporters. Gunin Hazarika, nominated as the vice president of the party said that the word ‘progressive’ had to be suffixed to the name because of a technical problem. He insisted that it was the original AGP despite the change in nomenclature and would definitely stake claim to AGP’s symbol, the elephant.
The new party adopted the original AGP flag which the regional party during its inception in 1985. AGP changed its flag after it merged with the Natuan Asom Gana Parishad in 1994.
The birth of AGP (P) is significant as it comes at a time when the Assembly elections are just round the corner. Though it will be little bit premature to predict, political observers are of the opinion that Congress will gain most from this development while the AGP will suffer most. It remains to be seen how the minorities react to this new development. They were in favour of Mahanta when he was the chief minister. Post IMDT, the minorities are very much disappointed with the Congress to such an extent that various minority groups are contemplating to float a new outfit. If the AGP (P) can catch their sentiments, it may upset many calculations. But it can work out in just the opposite manner for the new party as supporters of regionalism may turn their back on Mahanta and his party for ‘destroying the cause of regionalism’ in Assam. Also the biggest worry for the AGP (P) is the ‘no support’ from the influential All Assam Students’ Union.
Meanwhile, AGP has alleged that Congress is clandestinely supporting Mahanta to damage AGP’s electoral prospects. Refuting the allegation. Congress said that all such allegations were a direct fall out of the inability of the two AGP factions to explain what went wrong between them. “They have no valid explanation to give to the people for the split in the party. So they are dragging Congress into this,” said Congress spokesperson.
interestingly, just after formation of his new party, Mahanta said that
he was ready to hold talks with Brindaban Goswami and AGP to form a common
front of all non-Congress secular forces to defeat Congress in the coming
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