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Akhil Gogoi Rejects Merger Plan with TMC; Refuses to Head Mamata Banerjee's Party in Assam

Akhil Gogoi said Mamata Banerjee had extended an invitation to merge Raijor Dal with TMC. (File photo: PTI)

Akhil Gogoi said Mamata Banerjee had extended an invitation to merge Raijor Dal with TMC. (File photo: PTI)

Gogoi said he will be more than happy to see Mamata Banerjee as next the Prime Minister of India.

Sibsagar MLA and rising Assam leader Akhil Gogoi will not be seen as TMC’s Assam unit president. He on Monday has turned down Mamata Banerjee-led party’s offer. Stressing on Assam’s regional sentiment, Gogoi said although he will love to see Mamta Banerjee as the next Prime Minister and his party ‘Raijor Dol’ will play the part of TMC’s ally to dethrone BJP from power, he cannot join any national political party.

“We had so far three rounds of meeting with TMC where election strategist Prashant Kishor was also present. Affectionately, they have asked me to lead their Assam unit as state president but after elaborate discussion with my party colleagues, I have decided to turn down their merge offer. Assam has its own regional sentiment and it can be justified only from a regional party floor. Being a part of the national party was never my plan," said Gogoi.

Recently, Gogoi extended his support to Mamata Banerjee and said he will be more than happy to see Mamata Banerjee as next the Prime Minister of India. Adding to his earlier statement, Gogoi said he respects Mamata Banerjee for her stand to protect the federal structure of the country. “Even Arvind Kejriwal doesn’t seem to care so much about federal structure, but Mamata Banerjee is the only politician in the entire country who is vocal about this matter. I support her and if she is projected as the Prime Minister for the 2024 election, we will lend our support. Federalism is under crisis and we all regional parties should come as one to defeat BJP-RSS," Akhil Gogoi said.

Last week, Akhil Gogoi visited Kolkata and after meeting TMC leadership and Prashant Kishor, he expressed his desire to work towards creating a common platform to oust BJP. “All regional forces should fight BJP unitedly. Our only goal should be the end of BJP’s fascist regime," Akhil said.

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Meanwhile, a Congress delegation led by two newly-appointed working presidents, Zakir Hussain Sikdar and Rana Goswami, visited Akhil Gogoi’s Raijor Dol party office to discuss alliance possibilities for upcoming by-polls. During their almost an hour-long discussion, Gogoi made his point clear that his party won’t be a part of the Congress-led Mahajot unless they snap ties with Badaruddin Ajmal’s AIUDF. “There will not be any alliance with Ajmal," Gogoi said after the meeting.

On multiple occasions, Gogoi has accused Badaruddin Ajmal’s party of indulging in communal politics. He has slammed AIUDF for their failure to address real issues faced by minorities regarding NRC, ‘D Voter’ and detention camp. He even claimed that Ajmal’s failure to fulfil people’s expectations has led to his rising popularity in the minority belt and people will soon reject Ajmal’s party completely.

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first published:August 09, 2021, 18:00 IST