Peasant body Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti on Saturday announced that it will launch a political party to contest the 2021 Assam Assembly elections, PTI reported on Sunday. The organisation also said that jailed leader Akhil Gogoi will be its chief ministerial candidate.
“We have prepared ourselves to form a new political party,” Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti President Bhasco De Saikia said. “It will be a regional party. People from all tribes, castes, communities, religions and languages will be a part of this party.”
Gogoi had been arrested for his alleged role in instances of violence during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Assam. Gogoi was arrested in December for leading a protest against the new citizenship law outside the Jorhat deputy commissioner’s office. The NIA said that Gogoi has been booked for “waging a war against the nation”, conspiracy and rioting.
Days later, the NIA booked the anti-corruption and Right to Information activist under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, which empowers the government to designate an individual as a “terrorist” if he or she is found to be committing, preparing for, promoting, or being involved in an act of terrorism.
He was granted bail on March 17 by a special NIA court after the investigating agency failed to file a chargesheet against him within the specified period of 90 days. However, he was arrested again, just two days later. On August 7, an NIA court rejected the leader’s bail application.
Saikia said on Saturday that Gogoi was still imprisoned because of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti’s uncompromising stand on the Citizenship Amendment Act. Saikia added that the group hoped Gogoi will be out of jail by October, and will announce the name of the new party. He said the name of the party has been finalised but did not reveal it.
Asked if Gogoi will fight the polls, Saikia said: “Yes Akhil Gogoi will fight the polls in 2021. He will be our CM [chief ministerial] candidate.”
“We are at present fighting for Akhil Gogoi’s release,” the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti chief said. “Responding to our appeals, the people of Assam have come forward and contributed large amounts to carry forward the legal battle.”