AGP president Atul Bora, Minister Phani Bhushan Choudhury (Left) talking to media in New Delhi and (right) Opposition leader Debabrata Saikia. UB Photos

Within hours of AGP breaking ties with BJP, the Congress on Monday offered to work in tandem with the AGP as a “united opposition” to thwart BJP’s divisive politics in Assam.

Debabrata Saikia, Leader of Opposition, Assam Legislative Assembly, welcomed the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) for its decision to snap ties with the BJP over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

The AGP on Monday pulled out of Sarbananda Sonowal-led Assam Government immediately after the Union Cabinet cleared the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

Also read: Assam: AGP snaps ties with BJP over Citizenship Bill

Debabrata Saikia, who is also the Assam Congress Legislature Party (ACLP) leader, on his Twitter handle on Monday stated: “I welcome the decision taken by Sri Atul Bora, President AGP to come out of alliance with BJP and hope they will join the united Assamese civil society in all future anti CAB agitation.”

AGP has three ministers in the Sonowal-led Government including AGP president Atul Bora, working president Keshab Mahanta and senior party leader Phani Bhusan Choudhury.

Also read: Despite protests in Assam, Union Cabinet approves Citizenship Bill

While stating that he has already talked to the AGP chief, Saikia tweeted: “Spoke to Sri Atul Bora, President AGP and Sri Keshob Mahanta, Working President, AGP. Hope to work as united opposition against the divisive and communal design of BJP.”

Former Assam Chief Minister and Congress leader Tarun Gogoi has also welcomed the decision of the AGP to break alliance with the BJP.

Also read: Infuriated nude protestors from Assam storm Parliament against citizenship bill

Talking to the media here on Monday, Gogoi said: “I welcome the decision of the AGP to break ties with the BJP.”

Stating that the decision of the AGP is good news for Assam, Gogoi said: “They (AGP) should have done it long back.”

Gogoi urged the AGP to join the ongoing movement against BJP-led NDA Government’s move to get the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 passed in the Parliament.

He said, “We want the AGP to join the movement against the Bill. The AGP leaders had fought during Assam Agitation. They have blood. We want the AGP to grow stronger.”

Gogoi held Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal, Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Industries & Commerce Minister Chandramohan Patowary more responsible than Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh for the Centre’s decision regarding the Bill.

“The Centre has taken the decision against the Bill as Sonowal, Himanta and Chandramohan had assured their Central leadership of managing the protestors,” he said.

Gogoi also compared Himanta with Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who was the founder of Pakistan, for supporting the Hindus. Gogoi said, “Himanta has supported the ideology of Jinnah. Jinnah had supported the Muslims and now, Himanta has supported the Hindus.”

“But we, the Congress, neither support the Muslims nor the Hindus. We support democracy and the ideology of Mahatma Gandhi,” said Gogoi adding, “Now, there is now difference between Himanta and AIUDF chief Badruddin (Ajmal).”

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