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A day after forming a regional alliance ahead of the state Assembly elections, Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) and Raijor Dal formally announced the tie-up at a joint media conference on Friday, pledging to unite as a strong regional front in the polls and stay away from “national and communal political parties”.
AJP president Lurinjyoti Gogoi dismissed all speculations of any pre-poll understanding with the Congress-led ‘grand alliance’, saying that both the regional parties would maintain “equidistance” from “either national or communal political parties.”
“The process of talks with other like-minded and uncompromising regional parties to strengthen the regional alliance ahead of the polls is underway,” Gogoi said.
Asked whether the Hagrama Mohilary-led Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) would also be a part of the regional alliance, he said that deliberations were progressing with the party at a fast pace.
The AJP president further stated that both the regional parties have been born out of the “anti-people” policies of the BJP-led ruling alliance and the threat posed to Assamese nationalism by the “anti-people Citizenship Amendment Act.”
“Assam is lagging in terms of development, education, creating jobs, curbing crimes, et al which is indicative of the failure of the BJP government,” he alleged, saying the main poll issue of AJP was to preserve and protect the Assamese people, their dignity, rights and interests.
Echoing Gogoi, Bhasco de Saikia, working president of Raijor Dal, said the common goal of both the parties was to establish the strength of regionalism in the state, for the interests of the people of Assam.
“The anti-people policies of the BJP government and the breach of people’s trust by its ally in the government, Asom Gana Parishad (a regional party formed after the Assam Agitation) have led to the formation of both Raijor Dal and AJP as an alternative front,” Saikia said.
AJP general secretary Jagadish Bhuyan, however, urged the media not to project the regional party as “B teams of either Congress or BJP”.
“We have no reason to be with either of the national parties. On the contrary, we can proudly proclaim to be the ‘A’ team of Assamese nationalism and regionalism,” Bhuyan asserted.
(Edited by Ladiangti Rani)