The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, led by Assam activist Akhil Gogoi, on Friday announced a new political party named Raijor Dal, or the People’s Party, ahead of the Assembly elections in the state next year, The Indian Express reported. Gogoi is currently in jail on sedition charges for his role in the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Gogoi and KMSS President Bhasco de Saikia will serve as the convenors of Raijor Dal, according to The Sentinel. The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti was one of the main organisations that led protests against the new citizenship laws in Assam.
“The KMSS along with 70 other organisations representing ethnic communities came together today to announce the new regional political party,” De Saikia told The Indian Express. “Our ideological line will be politically federal, socially inclusive and economically self-reliant.”
De Saikia added that Gogoi would be the party’s chief ministerial candidate, NDTV reported. “We are trying to get him out of jail which he will hopefully by October 15,” he told the channel. On Thursday, Gogoi was granted bail by a special court Guwahati in one of the two cases being probed by the National Investigation Agency in connection with his alleged role in instances of violence during the CAA protests.
De Saikia said Raijor Dol would serve as a “much needed political alternative” in Assam so that people would not have to choose “between the fascist Bharatiya Janata Party” and the “communal Congress-All Assam United Democratic Front alliance”. “It will be the inclusive voice of all indigenous Assamese devoid of caste, lingual, religious and ethnic differences,” De Saikia said.
The party has laid out 20 points on which it would strive to work, with an emphasis on repealing the CAA in Assam, and giving the state international recognition.
The party was officially launched on Friday by filmmaker Jahnu Baruah. “To raise voice for the rights of indigenous people they [70 organisations] have got together and formed Raijor Dol,” Baruah said. Besides him, Assamese actor Zerifa Wahid and lawyer Arup Borbora, have also extended their support to the new political outfit.
Raijor Dal is the second political party to be formed recently in Assam. Last month, the Assam Jatiya Parishad was formed under the two most influential student-youth bodies of the state – the All Assam Students’ Union and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad. Both the AASU and the AJYCP played a key role in the CAA protests organised in the state.