Prafulla Kumar Mahanta addressing an AGP rally at Khanapara in April, 2018 Credit: File image

Guwahati: Just a day after severing ties with the BJP in Assam, a senior leader of Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), an important ally of the saffron party in the state, has dared the party to seek a fresh mandate from the people of the state.

During a press conference called in Guwahati on Tuesday, former CM Prafulla Kumar Mahanta said that the BJP has ‘no moral right’ to be in power.

Pointing out that the AGP had entered into a pre-poll alliance and not a post-poll one, Mahanta added :“The people of Assam 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.”

“The political alliance has some set rules. It is the BJP which is responsible for AGP’s quitting the alliance and they should step down immediately,” said Mahanta.

With the saffron party pressing on providing citizenship to the persecuted non-muslims from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and terming the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 as a “penance for wrong done to them during partition”, 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.

With the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) on Monday clearing a proposal to grant the status of Scheduled Tribes (ST) to six communities- Koch Rajbongshi, Chutia, Moran, Matak, Tai Ahom and Tea Tribes in Assam, Mahanta has termed the move led by the BJP led NDA as a “political ploy ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.”

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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