Thirty-five years after the Assam Gana Parishad (AGP) was formed to fulfill expectations of indigenous people in Assam, the state is going to witness another regional political party born out of the students' organisation with an aim to fulfill an unfulfilled promise of its predecessors.
The All Assam Students' Union (AASU) and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) on Wednesday announced the formation of a 16-member committee to guide the formation of a new political party ahead of 2021 Legislative Assembly Election.
As the state is having an eight months run to the state Assembly Polls 2021, the students' organisation introduced the formation of the committee alongside formulating goals for protecting socio-political and economic rights of indigenous community in the state.
Calling the AGP a 'betrayer', AASU advisor-in-chief Dr Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharyya said that the people of Assam have been victims of political injustice. "The regional party that was formed after 6-year long Assam agitation to fulfill aspirations of Assamese has lost its regional character soon after they sided with BJP in 2016 polls. After getting a lot of advice from people of Assam to form a non-compromising regional political, AASU and AJYCP have formed this 'Assam Advisory Committee'. This committee will guide us to secure the future of indigenous people and to form socio-political, economic and education related plans," he said.
The 16-member panel comprises of two advisers, former Assam Xahitya Xabha (AXX) president Dr Nagen Saikia and renowned writer Dr Arup Kumar Dutta. Other members of the committee are former Meghalaya Governor Ranjit Sekhar Mushahary, internationally famed filmmaker Jahnu Barua, former GU professor Dr Krishna Gopal Bhattacharya, former Associate Professor of Handique Girls' College Basanta Deka, Dhiren Saikia (Retd IAS), former Principal of SS College (Hailakandi) Ali Haider Lashkar, Rana Changmai, Abu Sahid Rafiquddin Ahmed, Sanjay Kumar Tanti, noted artiste Prithviraj Rabha, Surya Thaosen, Hussain Ahmed Laskar, Pranabjyoti Saikia and Pradip Koch. AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi and AJYCP general secretary Palash Changmai will work as coordinators for the panel during its initial works.
The six-year anti-foreigner agitation that ended with signing of Assam Accord in 1985 was led by AASU making the student organisation one of the signatory of the accord.
The people of Assam voted the AGP to power twice but the assurance given in the accord was not fulfilled even after three decades.
The ruling BJP's announcement of implementing Clause 6 of the accord that provides "Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people" is yet to be implemented.
With Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the entire sentiment against illegal infiltrators has doubled up in the state. The AASU and AJYCP leadership, in a joint press conference on Wednesday, stated that people of the state want a fresh political solution and are bound to fulfill people's expectations. Both the organisations have vowed to protect their non-political character hinting resignation of the current leadership.
As AGP seemingly failed to fulfill people's expectations on the illegal foreigners issue, the demand for a regional political party had intensified during the anti-CAA protests. With AASU and AJYCP inching towards forming a new political party, the stakes have become higher in state politics.