GUWAHATI: The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), which was instrumental in giving birth to Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), has been tasked, yet again, to find a political alternative as tempers are being frayed in the state by people against controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
Thirty-five years ago, the AGP was born out of the six-year-long bloody anti-immigrants’ agitation (Assam Agitation) which was spearheaded by the AASU. The present anti-CAA agitation is also being led by the students’ body. Both have been mass movements.
The midwifery for the latest political alternative is being conducted by a motley of leaders from cross-sections of society. There are film personalities, singers, musicians, intellectuals, academicians, lawyers, students, et al. Even before its birth, it is winning allies.
The AASU said the work towards floating the political alternative would begin next month.
“The (BJP-led) state government has surrendered before the Centre. So, it is the desire of people that there is a political alternative that will not stoop to Delhi but work to protect Assam’s interests. The process to achieve it will be taken forward in February,” AASU president Dipanka Nath told this newspaper.
The political alternative is the brainchild of intellectuals and artistes to fight CAA that threatens Assam’s land, language, culture among others, he said.
The AASU is enraged that the Centre will “impose” the immigrants on Assam by violating the Assam Accord. The accord says the immigrants, irrespective of their faith who migrated after March 24, 1971, are to be detected and deported. CAA will grant Indian citizenship to “persecuted” non-Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who came till December 31, 2014.
AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said the political alternative was needed as the people had been let down by all political parties.
“People have seen what the BJP did. They had committed to drive out the Bangladeshis but in a U-turn, they now want to impose them on the Assamese via CAA. The AGP betrayed people by not opposing CAA for the lust of power. Congress has always done only vote-bank politics with the Muslim Bangladeshis,” Gogoi said.
The political alternative was first mooted by popular singer Zubeen Garg. At a rally against CAA in Guwahati last month, he had made a call for it. The idea was instantly backed by the AASU president who said, “We are thinking in that direction”.
What political pundits foresee as the certain death of the AGP, the political vacuum created is going to be filled in by the new party. When people had expected the AGP to reject CAA, the party voted in its favour.