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After severing ties over Citizenship Bill, AGP mulls returning to NDA

Press Trust of India  |  Guwahati 

Two months after severing ties with the ruling BJP over the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the (AGP) is weighing its options to return to the NDA fold for the Lok Sabha elections.

According to sources in the AGP, the party is divided over the issue of tying up with the BJP again, fearing backlash from ground-level workers.

A has also admitted that the process of forging a coalition between the former allies have gained momentum in the last couple of days, but nothing has been fixed as yet.

The AGP legislature party is scheduled to hold a meeting later in the evening to take a call on the matter, a of the party told on condition of anonymity.

On Monday night, too, AGP MLAs held a discussion over realigning with the BJP, but the meeting remained inconclusive, he said.

"We have been summoned for a meeting. It will start at 9 pm. The alliance issue will be discussed at the meet," the senior AGP member said.

"Last night's meeting remained inconclusive. We discussed at length about the pros and cons of joining the BJP. But there was no unanimity. Some of us were in favour of aligning with the BJP, but the others opposed the idea," he said.

On January 7, the AGP withdrew its support to the BJP government in in protest against the Centre's decision to go ahead with the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to grant nationality to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, and after six years of residence in

When contacted, AGP told PTI, "Nothing has been finalised yet."

Earlier in the day, Bora said that the party has formed a nine-member panel to finalise its election strategy.

"We have had number of sittings. Last night, too, we had a meeting. We will announce our candidates very soon... As for the alliance, we will take a decision in a day or two," he said.

Bora, however, stated that his party had "sincerely fought against the Citizenship Bill" since the very beginning.

A senior office bearer of the BJP also said that alliance talks with the AGP have begun at "some level".

"A process is going on, but it has not taken any concrete shape as of now. The AGP had broken ties with us over the Citizenship Bill, on which our stand has been very clear.

"Before forging an alliance again, the AGP has to clear their stand on the Bill. The ball is in now," said the senior BJP leader, who is aspiring for a ticket in the Lok Sabha polls.

is set to a meeting of the Northeast Democratic Alliance, NDA's regional wing, on Tuesday night.

minister and said a meeting between Madhav and the seniors AGP leaders was also likely later in the night.

In 2014, the BJP won seven out of 14 Lok Sabha seats in Assam, the and the All United Democratic Front have three each and one member is an Independent.

The two BJP allies, Bodoland People's Front and the AGP, have no representation in the

Polling for the will be held in three phases in Assam, on April 11, 18 and 23.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 12 2019. 20:17 IST