Guwahati: With an aim to transform Assam's resentment over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act into electoral success, the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) on October 2 officially launched a new regional party which has been christened as 'Raijor Dal' (people's party). The party was officially launched in Guwahati city amid much fanfare and promises of a better tomorrow.
The new party, which will have Akhil Gogoi and KMSS President Bhasco de Saikia as its co-convenors, was launched on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi's 151st birthday. Interestingly, Akhil also celebrates his birthday today. The core tenet of this 'Raijor Dal', its Constitution says, will be its "uncompromising nature." During the launch ceremony, the regional leaders were also joined by eminent filmmaker Jahnu Barua, prominent advocate and political leader Arup Borbora, and Bir Lachit Sena leader Sringkhal Chaliha.
70 indigenous groups and the regional party, the ''Sanjukta Anchalik Dal, Asom'', who were together during the anti Citizenship (Amendment) Act agitation, have all backed the new party, which has chosen "think globally, act locally" as its official slogan.
During the launch programme, Raijor Dal party leaders today turned down heavily on the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) for its alleged betrayal of the Assamese people by turning ma blind eye to the 'CAA' and other regional issues.
'Raijor Dal', which claims that it is meant "for the people", has made it incredibly easy to become a member. All one has to do to become a member of the 'Raijor Dal' is log into their official website (www.raijordal.org) and submit a few details to become a member of the party.
The KMSS was one of the chiefest forces in the anti-CAA agitation that rocked Assam in its entirety at the turn of 2019. The peasant organization's leader, Akhil Gogoi, accused of several counts of misdemeanors during the protest, still finds himself behind bars. However, the new party's leaders have expressed hope that the firebrand leader shall soon be out of jail and lead next year's election campaign.
Gogoi, on his part, has repeatedly urged the other prominent regional organizations -- All Assam Students' Union (AASU) and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chhatra Parishad (AJYCP) -- to join the hands with him to defeat the BJP-led alliance in 2021's Assembly elections. The AASU and AJYCP, however, have formed their own party (Asom Jatiya Parishad) which will contest in about 80 of the Assembly seats.
Who will be the Raijor Dal's Chief Ministerial Candidate?
Although the Congress, BJP, and AJP are yet to announce their respective candidates for the Chief Ministerial berth, KMSS President Bhasco de Saikia has announced that Akhil Gogoi is likely to be the party's CM candidate.
BJP's Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma recently said that the party is yet to take a call on whom to elect as CM candidate in the 2021 polls. The Congress, which has tied up with the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), says the CM, if the coalition does manage to win the elections, will be from the Congress camp. However, none of the parties have announced a candidate.
It needs mention here that the 2016 state assembly elections in Assam gave a fractured mandate and no party has an absolute majority in the current House.
The BJP is the single largest party with 60 MLAs, while its allies Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF) have 14 and 12 legislators respectively. The ruling coalition also has the support of an Independent MLA.
The opposition Congress has 23 MLAs, while the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) has 14 members in the House.