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AGP serves showcause notice on Mahanta

G Vinayak in Guwahati | June 13, 2005 14:40 IST

The Asom Gana Parishad has served a showcause notice on former Assam chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta for his alleged anti-party activities, official sources said.

This move is expected to further intensify the factional clash between Mahanta and AGP president Brindaban Goswami, the sources added.

Mahanta was absolved, barely a week back, for independently trying to cobble together a 'third front' to take on the ruling Congress in the state.

Goswami said the party's steering committee has decided to give Mahanta 10 days to reply to the notice.

Earlier, the AGP had barred Mahanta from organising party meetings outside his constituency in Barhampur but had eased its restrictions on him only a few months ago.

Talking to the media after the meeting, Goswami said no individual is above the party.

"Mahanta's recent comments against the leadership have affected the party. We won't tolerate any indiscipline and anti-party activities," he added.

Expelled AGP leader and Mahanta loyalist Shyamal Sanyal said the new party would be formed soon. "We have been organising meetings in different parts of the state to mobilise support," he added.

A subdued Mahanta said he would make his intentions known only after receiving the notice. But he insisted that he had never said or done anything against the AGP.

"I am only trying to strengthen the party. It's actually some other people who are trying to divide it," he said.

In a bid to strengthen Goswami's grip on the AGP, the steering committee formally decided to project him as the party's candidate for the chief minister's post in the run-up to the assembly elections early next year.

'The party will contest the elections under Goswami's leadership and is prepared to form a non-Congress government under him,' the steering committee resolution states.

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