The Telegraph
Friday , April 29 , 2016

AAP invite for KMSS rebels

Guwahati, April 28: New Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal has invited a group of young leaders from Assam, who had left the Akhil Gogoi-led Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) recently, to join the party's state unit.

Gogoi was once Kejriwal's colleague in the Anna Hazare-led India Against Corruption (IAC) campaign.

Former general secretary of KMSS Kamal Kumar Medhi met Kejriwal in New Delhi last night when the latter invited him and his colleagues who left KMSS to join AAP. "Kejriwal had invited me to Delhi after he came to know about our resignation from KMSS. We discussed a host of issues, including the political situation after the Assembly elections. During the meeting he invited me and the others to join AAP. I will hold a meeting with the other leaders in Guwahati before taking a decision," Medhi said today.

He and at least five others had left KMSS on April 5, citing Akhil's dictatorial style of functioning. "The KMSS had, to a large extent, diverted from the aims and objectives with which it was formed in 2005. We talked about democratic federalism but Akhil Gogoi's words rule the roost in the organisation. Those who do not toe his line are neglected or conspiracy is hatched against him/her," Medhi had said in his statement on April 5.

With Medhi, the president of KMSS's students' wing, Chatra Mukti Sangram Samiti, Gajiur Rahman, general secretary Rakesh Chakraborty, vice-president, Subrata Talukdar and others had put in their papers, citing the same reason.

Leaders of KMSS's units in some districts had also followed suit. #Formed in 2005, the KMSS has been demanding land rights to the landless and protesting against alleged illegal allotment of agriculture land to businessmen for non-agriculture use, big dams and corruption in implementing government schemes. Akhil had invited sharp criticism following self-immolation of a landless hill-dweller, Pranab Boro, in 2014 during a protest by KMSS in front of Assam secretariat.

Akhil was a part of the executive committee formed by Anna Hazare in the IAC campaign but had slammed Kejriwal when he formed the AAP. Although Akhil claimed he would never join politics, he launched his political party Ganamukti Sangram, Asom, last year but decided not to contest the elections.

Sources said Akhil's appeal to people not to vote for the BJP during Assam Assembly elections, held on April 4 and 11, had left Medhi and some of his colleagues disappointed. "We are not BJP supporters but a stand against a particular party without any discussion with us led many people to point fingers at us. Many said we are acting as B-team of Congress, which really pained us," another leader who left KMSS said.

AAP had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in Assam but did not win any seats.

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