GUWAHATI: The protests against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) had brought the artistes in Assam together but the upcoming elections made them fall apart.
As the state braces for the polls due early next year, a large number of popular singers, musicians, and film personalities joined the ruling BJP and Congress on Tuesday in their quest for a political future. Most of them were at the forefront of the anti-CAA protests.
Singers Babu Baruah, Ajoy Phukan, and 27 fellow artistes joined the Congress. Among the scores of artistes who joined the BJP include flutist Deepak Sarma, singer Simata Shekhar, and actor Pranjana Dutta.
At a programme, state Congress chief Ripun Bora and the party’s Assam in-charge Harish Rawat welcomed the artistes to the party fold. Soon after joining, Babu belted out his popular number “Pedal Mari Mari”.
Bora said the people had embraced the BJP in the last election after getting driven by its slogan of “poribartan” (change) but they were now seeking “porittran” (respite).
Assam BJP chief Ranjit Dass had inducted the other group of artistes into the party. He said they had joined the BJP on being inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dynamic leadership and the performance of the BJP-led government.
Singer Simanta Shekhar was confident the BJP would retain power in the state. He had sung the BJP’s campaign song “Akou Ebar Modi Sarkar” during the last Lok Sabha election.
Flutist Deepak Sarma said: “I have joined the BJP as I love the party”.
About a fortnight ago, well-known singer-composer Zubeen Garg was appointed as the brand ambassador of Assam’s agriculture sector. He too had actively taken part in the anti-CAA protests.
In December last year, Assam was in the grip of widespread and spontaneous protests against the CAA. At least five people, including a schoolboy, had lost their lives during the protests.
The All Assam Students’ Union, which had spearheaded the protests along with the artistes, has already asserted that it is holding wider consultations with the “people of Assam” towards floating an “alternative” political party and contesting the elections.
Recently, peasants’ body Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti had announced that it would float a political party and its jailed leader Akhil Gogoi would be the chief ministerial candidate.