Guwahati, April 26 (IANS) Two-time former Assam chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta was Thursday elected the new president of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP).
Another senior leader Atul Bora was elected as the party's working president.
"While Mahanta polled 211 votes, Padma Hazarika who contested against him for the president's post polled 174 votes. Similarly, Atul Bora polled 225 votes to become the party's working president while Rajya Sabha MP Kumar Dipak Das could poll only 157 votes," said Bijon Mahajan, a member of the party's election committee.
Ballots were being used for the first time in a party election since the AGP's inception in 1985.
The polling was held for 28 posts of the regional party, including those of the president, the working president, five general secretaries and 21 central executive members. A total of 50 candidates were in the fray for the party's election, Mahajan said.
The voting began at 9 a.m. on Thursday and it was over by 3 p.m., Mahajan said adding that the counting of votes started from 4 p.m. in the party headquarters at Aambari here.
While the election results for the post of president and working presidents were declared by Thursday evening, counting of ballots for other positions are still on, said party sources.
Talking to newsmen after the declaration of the results, Mahanta said that his main task will be to strengthen the regional party, which had been sitting in opposition benches of the assembly since 2001.
"My main objective is to strengthen the party from grassroots level so that it can become an alternative to the Congress," he said.
The election assumes significance as the once powerful regional party had failed to make its presence felt in the last three assembly elections in the state. There were also allegations that the AGP had failed to emerge as a strong opposition in the state.
"This election is very important for the party. The new leadership must work strongly keeping an eye at the 2016 assembly elections in the state," said a party leader.
Another senior party leader said that all the party leaders should work together for strengthening the party so that it emerges as a powerful alternative to the Congress in the state.
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