Akhil Gogoi seeks unity against communal forces
Assam peasant rights group Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) chief adviser Akhil Gogoi has urged the people to put up a united fight in the next Assembly polls to protect the Assamese community from “communal” politics.
Gogoi, who is in jail since December 12 last year after he was arrested during the peak of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests, said that only “one united, strong and inclusive regional party” with “one flag and one goal” could save Assam. “I want to tell something to the people of Assam. We need to have only one strong inclusive regional party or else the Assamese community will die. The presence of 10-15 regional parties will not help. Seat sharing will also not help us,” Akhil said while he was being taken for a medical check-up on Monday.
“We have to unite to save Assam or else this Hindu-Muslim politics will continue for another 30 to 50 years, by which time the Assamese community will be finished. If we unite, it will trigger a political storm in Assam politics that will sweep away the RSS-BJP and the Congress-AIUDF. I therefore appeal to the AASU, the AJYCP, the KMSS and other regional forces to float one strong and inclusive political party,” said the peasant leader, who is known for speaking his mind.
Akhil also urged the people to continue with the anti-CAA movement. The Act is seen as a threat to Assam’s culture and identity. He also took a dig at Dispur’s financial assistance of Rs 830 per month to needy women in each family during the ongoing pandemic as insignificant. “Each family should get at least Rs 10,000,” he said.
Akhil’s appeal assumes significance because leading student organisations and citizen groups have announced the formation of a regional party to unseat the ruling BJP in the 2021 Assembly polls.
The formation of a new regional alternative, backed by two leading youth organisations of the state — All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) — is likely to be announced this week.
The KMSS has already announced a political party. Senior advocate Arup Borabora and filmmaker Jahnu Baruah are the leading lights of the recently floated United Regional Party, Assam, while Rajya Sabha MP Ajit Kumar Bhuyan is leading the Anchalik Gana Morcha.
The avowed goal of these parties is to strengthen regionalism and oust the ruling BJP from power. But political observers say that unless they unite they will be no match for the well-entrenched BJP or even the Opposition Congress and the AIUDF.
According to observers, the RSS and the BJP are trying to polarise the state along religious lines. The BJP accuses the AIUDF of espousing the cause of illegal Bangladeshi Muslims even though it has several Hindu MLAs and leaders. The Congress and the AIUDF have announced their intent of forging a pre-poll alliance.
Even the 16-member Assam Paramarshadata Committee (advisory committee) formed by the AASU and the AJYCP to suggest measures and the mechanism for their implementation for “securing” the future of Assam and Assamese people reportedly wants regional forces to unite.
KMSS president Bhasco D Saikia said it is in favour of an alliance of regional and anti-BJP forces. According to him, Akhil has mooted the unity of all regional forces to save the state from anti-Assam and communal forces.
Reacting to Akhil’s call, AASU president Dipanka Nath told The Telegraph that all such political decisions will be taken by the proposed regional party. “As AASU, we cannot comment on what the proposed party will do. We are also for unity of the regional forces,” Nath said.