GUWAHATI: On this New Year, Assam is likely to get a new political party out of the ongoing protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), which is spearheading the protests, said a process to achieve this goal had been initiated by it along with various “nationalist” and tribal organisations and artistes and Assam-loving people.
Thirty-five years ago, the AASU had played a big role in the formation of regional Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) which was born out of the six-year-long anti-immigrants’ agitation (Assam Agitation). The same year, the AGP had wrested power from the Congress.
“Yes, a process towards getting a political alternative is on and there is no question of going back. It’s the call of time. We all believe only a new political party, formed with Assam-loving people, can protect the Assamese and their land, language and culture,” AASU president Dipanka Nath told a news channel.
He disclosed that the AASU was in consultations with various nationalist and tribal organisations besides artistes and people who love Assam.
AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi told this newspaper the political alternative was needed as the people of Assam had been let down by all political parties in the state.
“People have seen what the BJP did. The party had committed ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha elections that it would drive out the illegal immigrants. In a U-turn, it now wants to rehabilitate them. The AGP was born out of agitation but it betrayed people by not opposing the CAA for the lust of power. Congress is an all-time enemy of the people of Assam, for it does only vote-bank politics, particularly with the Muslims. It is the protector of foreigners,” Gogoi said.
As every political party has “cheated” people and they are locked in an ideological as well as philosophical conflict with pan-political parties, what is imperative is the search for an alternative, he said.
“People are looking for a political alternative. We are trying to get their wish fulfilled by taking all nationalist and tribal organisations and the people into confidence. The Assamese and other indigenous communities want their future to be secured,” Gogoi said.
The ruling BJP appears to be jittery over the development but it is trying to put up a brave face.
“Some people are talking about floating a political party out of the protests and wresting power the way the AGP did. I have no doubt it will be like Mungerilal Ke Haseen Sapne,” the state’s Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had said two days ago.
Asked if the Congress will have an understanding with the new political party, three-time former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said, “Let it be floated. We will see if we can have any understanding”.
Groups working towards floating the political alternative said it would not align with any political party. To this, Gogoi said, “It won’t have a future without the Congress”.
The political alternative was first proposed by popular singer Zubeen Garg. At a rally against the CAA in Guwahati recently, he had made a call for it. The idea was instantly backed by the president of apolitical AASU who said, “We are thinking in that direction”.