Day after breakup, Mahanta dares BJP to seek fresh mandate

TNN Bureau. Updated: 1/8/2019 6:45:25 PM National

Guwahati, Jan 8 (IANS) A day after regional Asom Gana Parishad quit the BJP-led alliance, senior AGP leader and former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta said on Tuesday the BJP had no moral right to be in power and dared it to seek a fresh mandate.

"The BJP had a pre-poll alliance with us before the 2016 Assembly polls. The Assam people voted for the BJP-AGP alliance, not the BJP alone. So, as the AGP has quit the alliance, the BJP has no moral right to be in power and they should seek a fresh mandate," said Mahanta.

"The political alliance has some set rules. It is the BJP which is responsible for AGP's quitting the alliance and they (BJP) should step down immediately," said the former chief Minister.

Slamming the saffron party over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, Mahanta also asked the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre to spell out the number of Hindus, Sikhs, Christian and Buddhists who were persecuted in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan and have come to India.

"The NDA government must give a list of such people before pressing for the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 in Parliament," Mahanta said. He said the NDA government was hasty in granting ST status to six communities in Assam as a political ploy ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

"Why has the Central government not done anything in the last four years on the issue? Why are they taking up the matter ahead of the Lok Sabha polls?" Mahanta asked.

He hailed the regional party's decision to come out of the alliance and said it was for the sake of the people of Assam.

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