A scene at the launch function of Raijor Dal at Guwahati on Friday.(HT photo)
A scene at the launch function of Raijor Dal at Guwahati on Friday.(HT photo)

Peasant leader Akhil Gogoi’s KMSS launches party ahead of 2021 Assam polls

The party has received support from nearly 70 organisations and is the fourth political party formed in the state recently.
Hindustan Times, Guwahati | By Utpal Parashar | Edited by Sparshita Saxena
UPDATED ON OCT 02, 2020 04:31 PM IST

A day after its leader Akhil Gogoi was granted bail by a special court, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), an Assam organization working for farmers’ rights, announced the formation of a new political party ahead of next year’s assembly polls in the state.

Called Raijor Dal or peoples’ party, the new outfit is the fourth political party to be formed in the state in the past few months - all maintaining a strong regional stance and opposition to the Citizenship Amend Act (CAA).

One of the new parties, United Regional Party, Assam (URPA) founded by advocate Arup Borbora, and nearly 70 other organizations have vouched support to Raijor Dal, which aims to promote regional interests and oppose the ruling BJP-led coalition and Congress-All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) alliance.

Gogoi, the founder of the KMSS, has been in jail since December last year on charges of inciting violence during the anti-CAA stir. He was granted bail by a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Thursday but he is still in jail as his bail application in connection with another case filed by the agency is pending.

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“The new party is the outcome of the fight against the CAA by the KMSS and 70 other organisations since October 2018. Our fight against the CAA continues and Raijor Dal will stand for uncompromised regionalism. We aim to overthrow the BJP regime as well the Congress-AIUDF combine,” said KMSS president Bhasco De Saikia.

There’s fear among indigenous communities in Assam that the CAA, which grants Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians and Parsis from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, will lead to an influx of illegal immigrants to the state from Bangladesh.

Two of Assam’s biggest student bodies - All Assam Students Union (AASU) and Assam Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) - have formed Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP). Journalist-turned-Rajya Sabha MP Ajit Bhuyan has floated Anchalik Gana Morcha (AGM) and URPA was formed by Dutta and eminent filmmaker Jahnu Barua.

“All groups, communities and organizations need to come together to protect the interest of Assam and its indigenous populations. It is a good thing that so many organizations have come together to form Raijor Dal,” filmmaker Jahnu Barua said at the launch event of the new party.

Arup Borbora of the URPA hoped that all new regional parties would come together and contest the next assembly polls scheduled in March-April next year from one platform.

“Anyone is free to form a political party and contest elections in a democratic country. But we are not bothered by the new parties. Our party has 42 lakh members in Assam and even if each one of them brings an extra vote, we would get 84 lakh votes and retain power,” BJP Assam president Ranjeet Kumar Dass said recently.

Opposition Congress, which has formed an alliance with the AIUDF for the next polls, has been asking all parties to join forces against the BJP-led government.

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