"The BJP is nervous. They know they might lose seats elsewhere in the country, so they want to ensure they do not lose any seat here. But I don’t think they will succeed. It is an unholy alliance, like an illicit relationship," Gogoi said.
Former Assam chief minister and senior Congress leader Tarun Gogoi speaks to The Indian Express about the BJP-AGP alliance and why he feels it will not impact the Congress.
The AGP tied up with BJP despite the latter reiterating that the citizenship Bill will be brought back. Your comments?
The BJP is nervous. They know they might lose seats elsewhere in the country, so they want to ensure they do not lose any seat here. But I don’t think they will succeed. It is an unholy alliance, like an illicit relationship. It’s an alliance full of contradictions. No similar ideology or ideas.
Here, the bone of contention was the citizenship Bill. The AGP fought against it and people of Assam thought they were champions for that. But then, BJP president Amit Shah has clearly said they will bring the Bill back, though it has lapsed now. Yet the AGP went back to them. Power and money made them do this. People will understand that.
Will the alliance hurt the Congress?
No, the alliance will not impact us. There will be many AGP supporters who will come to us after this betrayal. AGP supporters and Assamese people have been betrayed by this decision. On Tuesday, as the AGP sealed the alliance with the BJP, there was not even an assurance by the BJP that they will not bring the Bill or something to that effect. The three AGP ministers rejoined their ministries without any assurance regarding the Bill. So selfish of them. Their supporters will see through this hankering after money and power.
What about the BJP’s prospects in Assam? On what issues will you be focusing?
BJP doesn’t have any base in Assam. They are dismantling others’ houses, bringing some poles and putting up their own house. That kind of assembled house is temporary. We will be countering them on their attempt to implement the citizenship Bill against the wishes of the people. We will also focus on the Narendra Modi government’s total failure to fulfil promises regarding job creation and development.
What about a Congress-AIUDF alliance? Both parties want the BJP out.
No, [Badruddin] Ajmal’s idea is to help the BJP by putting up candidates against us. Last time, he put up a candidate against my son and garnered around 2.32 lakh votes. Ajmal cannot win but he can get us defeated. His aim is to eat away our votes.
AIUDF is part of UPA but not our ally in Assam. BJP and AIUDF are both communal parties. If you oppose Hindu communalism, then you cannot support Muslim communalism. He concentrates only on one particular community.
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