Guwahati: Assam's Health, Finance, and Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today appealed all the new regional parties to contest the 2021 Assembly elections under a common banner or else "there will be confusion."
"I want all the regional political parties to be united under a single banner and stay together or there might be confusion during the election meetings if there are 20-25 parties. That will be awfully inconvenient for all of us," Sarma said, taking a veiled jibe at the various parties that have been cropping up in the lead up to the crucial polls.
Stating that the defeat of these parties is a "foregone conclusion", the Minister on the sidelines of a programme in Guwahati said that if the regional parties do not contest unitedly, they will get an even lesser share of the votes than predicted by him (750-1,000 votes per candidate) in the ensuing polls in the state.
"I have predicted that the regional party vote share will be 700-1,500 votes. Therefore, if there are 20-25 different parties to choose from, the share of votes will be much lesser," said Sarma.
Taking another jibe at the regional leaders who have resolved to contest the 2021 polls in a bid to unseat the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, Sarma said, "These very leaders, who are now talking of joining politics, had shunned politics for a long. Since they themselves have now come forward to join active politics, we welcome them with open arms."
Interestingly, Sarma's sentiment has been echoed by his bete noire Akhil Gogoi, who has repeatedly exhorted the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) and Asom Jatiyabadi Yuba Chhatra Parishad (AJYCP) to join his own Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and contest the elections under a common banner.
The Gogoi-headed peasant body, the KMSS, today officially launched its own political party 'Raijor Dal', which will receive the backing of the United Regional Party, Assam (URPA) founded by advocate Arup Borbora, and nearly 70 other organizations.
Gogoi, the founder of the KMSS, has been in jail since December last year on charges of inciting violence during the anti-CAA stir and his bail application in connection with a case filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). However, KMSS president Bhasco de Saikia has declared that Gogoi will officially lead the party's election campaign.