AGP walkout an emotional loss: Himanta
NEW DELHI: The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP)’S decision to sever ties with “natural ally” Bharatiya Janata Party is an “emotional loss” but the development will not have any bearing on the Lok Sabha elections this summer, Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Sunday.
The 49-year-old leader, who is considered the BJP point person for the northeast where the party has made significant gains in the past three years, said he was ready to welcome the AGP if it wanted to return to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
“We will never close the doors for the AGP,” Sarma said in an interview. “Yes, it [the AGP walking out of the alliance] is an emotional setback for us because they were friends, and by and large our ideological line was the same. I am more emotionally upset, rather than electorally.”
Last week, the Assam-based party pulled out of the Bjp-led government in the state over the Citizenship Amendment Bill, which seeks to give citizenship rights to non-muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The AGP has its roots in the 1985 Assam Accord, which said anyone who entered the state after March 1971 would be seen as an illegal immigrant and should be deported.