GUWAHATI: Jailed Assam activist Akhil Gogoi will be the chief ministerial candidate of a political party that his peasants’ body Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) will float.
As the state braces for Assembly election due early next year, the KMSS is girding up its loins to contest it. The organisation is spread across the state and Gogoi is its leader.
“We have taken a decision to float a political party to fulfil regional aspirations and contest the next election. Akhil Gogoi will be our chief ministerial candidate,” KMSS president Bhasco De Saikia told journalists.
He said the name of the party envisaged would be decided after Gogoi walked out to freedom. The activist has been lodged at the Central Jail in Guwahati since December last year following his arrest by the National Investigation Agency for alleged nexus with the CPI (Maoist).
“We will march ahead taking along all communities. However, we are averse to any alignment – whether pre-poll or post-poll – with any national or communal party,” Saikia added.
The development comes against the backdrop of the Congress’s call for the formation of a grand alliance of opposition parties to oust the BJP from power. The BJP, Asom Gana Parishad and Bodoland People’s Front are the constituents of the government.
“We are open to alliance with like-minded parties, including the AIUDF (minority-based All India United Democratic Front), which are opposed to the BJP,” Assam Congress chief Ripun Bora had told journalists recently.
Ironing out past differences, the Congress and the AIUDF have more or less come together to keep the BJP at bay. They have appealed to like-minded political parties to be a part of the grand alliance.
However, the Congress’s cozying up to the AIUDF, which holds sway in the seats where Bengali Muslims are in a large majority, has not gone down well. There have been already voices of dissent from a section of Congress leaders. They felt the alliance with the AIUDF, which allegedly carries the “Bangladeshi” tag, will harm the Congress in Upper Assam where a strong sentiment of Assamese nationalism works.
The All Assam Students’ Union, which has been at the forefront of the movement against controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act, has already asserted that it is holding wider consultations with the “people of Assam” towards floating a regional party and contesting the upcoming election.