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Can regional parties woo voters again?

Yet another regional political party, Raijor Dal (RD), came up in the State on Friday from the anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) launch pad.

Can regional parties woo voters again?

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  2021-02-11T12:54:35+05:30


GUWAHATI: Yet another regional political party, Raijor Dal (RD), came up in the State on Friday from the anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) launch pad. Led by the KMSS (Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti), the party has 70 other organizations in its fold.

People directly or indirectly associated with this new regional party are the likes of filmmaker Jahnu Baruah and Arup Borbora.

In the recent past, the AASU (All Assam Students' Union) and the AJYCP (Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva-Chatra Parishad) did float a regional political party, AJP (Asom Jatiya Parishad). The immediate purpose of both these regional political parties is to topple the BJP-led coalition government in the State.

Meanwhile, a relaxed State BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass said, "The more regional parties come up, the more benefits the BJP will accrue. Gone are the days to do politics on immediate emotions. Now people want development, nothing else."

Meanwhile, dismissing both the new regional parties, State Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, "Such regional parties will end up with 500 to 1,700 votes wherever they field candidates. What I'm saying is based on my experience in politics. Shouting slogans on the streets and politics aren't one and the same."

The Congress, on the other hand, has kept its door for electoral understanding open for the new regional parties. APCC (Assam Pradesh Congress Committee) president Ripun Bora said, "We need to hold talks with the new regional parties to topple the BJP from power at Dispur."

However, the major hurdle for the Congress to make this happen is 'the understanding it has reached with the AIUDF' – a party which both the new regional parties will certainly want to keep a safe distance. Thus, the possibility of the two new regional parties joining the Congress-led Opposition alliance seems remote.

The newly formed regional parties have their bases mainly from central Assam to Upper Assam. In order to prevent them from making inroad into the tea gardens in Upper Assam, the BJP-led government has announced a slew of schemes for tea estate labourers. Implementation of the schemes has already been started. It is a fact that in 2016 the BJP could garner a number of seats in Upper Assam mainly with the votes of tea labourers.

New political parties are coming up in Assam amidst the corona pandemic. However, the voters in the State are a confused lot. The people of the State did vote to power a new regional party formed by the AASU in 1985. The outcome was not at all encouraging. Will the people of the State repose their faith on the new regional party formed by the AASU? It's a million dollar question. Will the voters in the State take the KMSS-led party into confidence?

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