GUWAHATI: Appealing to the voters to exercise their franchise in favour of jailed anti-CAA movement leader Akhil Gogoi, social activist Medha Patkar on Thursday claimed that people's democratic rights will be curtailed if the BJP returns to power in Assam.
The Narmada Bachao Andolan leader alleged that the saffron party is working only for big industrialists and not for commoners.
"This assembly election is a fight between those selling farmers' lands and those protecting them. Akhil Gogoi is fighting for land rights of poor farmers in Assam," she told reporters. After Gogoi was put behind the bars, the closed toll gates were reopened, construction of big dams began and several more such "anti-people" work resumed, she said.
"If you give the BJP five more years, it will be devastating for the people of Assam. There will be no rights for the people. Akhil Gogoi is the voice against the corruption of BJP and its minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. That's why he is languishing in jail," she said.
Patkar reached Assam on Wednesday and joined an election procession at Sivasagar, from where Gogoi is contesting as a candidate of his newly floated outfit Raijor Dal.
Polling will be held in the constituency in the first phase on March 27.
"Yesterday, I saw that all commoners especially youth of Sivasagar were on the streets. They realised that injustice has been meted out to Akhil Gogoi," she said.
The social activist alleged that the BJP governments at the Centre and state work only for big corporate houses.
"They are corporatising agriculture by implementing the three infamous farm laws.
In the future, these laws will affect Assam also.
To save the state, we need voices like Akhil Gogoi which is why he has to win the election," Patkar said.
Gogoi was last year admitted to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) after contracting COVID-19.
He is still undergoing treatment for other ailments.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had arrested him in December 2019 for his alleged role in the violent anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests across the state.
In Gogoi's absence, his 85-year-old mother Priyada is leading Raijor Dal's poll campaign in Sivasagar.