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FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK:
The Congress in Assam put an end to all speculations over the “Mahajoot” (grand alliance) of opposition parties on Tuesday with an announcement to stitch the alliance ahead of the Assembly polls to oust the ruling BJP from power.
The Assam Congress announced it would contest the Assembly elections in alliance with the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist), and regional party Anchalik Gana Morcha.
With only a few months left for Assam to go to polls, political parties across the state are sharpening their skill sets to woo voters and gain the upper hand in the upcoming election.
This is not the only grand alliance in Assam that came up before the election. The formation of new regional parties was perhaps one of the key highlights of 2019 in the political calendar of the state.
Supposedly, the regional parties – the Assam Jatiya Parishad party backed by influential groups like the All Assam Student’s Union (AASU) and the Raijor Dal backed by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), are looked at as “alternative” to the national parties, floated to “dislodge” the ruling BJP from the state in the 2021 Assembly polls.
In 2020, Assam witnessed the formation of four political parties - all maintaining a strong regional stance and opposition to the Citizenship Amend Act (CAA).
Apart from the Assam Jatiya Parishad and Raijor Dal, there is also the Anchalik Gana Morcha (AGM) floated by Journalist-turned-Rajya Sabha MP Ajit Bhuyan, and the United Regional Party-Assam (URPA) founded by advocate Arup Borbora.
The formation of these new parties and the alliances forged thereafter may act as a deterrent for the ruling BJP.
However, the BJP through its leaders, have repeatedly reiterated that such alliances pose no threat to the saffron party.
If we look at political development that transpired over the last couple of months, there is a high possibility for the BJP to make a comeback, and they can gauge this from the recently concluded Bodoland Territorial Council election where the saffron party emerged victoriously. It was a grand close to 2020 for the BJP.
But Assam can expect a good fight if all the opposition parties decide to come together under one roof. The grand old party had hinted at opening its doors for the newly floated regional parties, Assam Jatiya Parishad and Raijor Dal.
But this is unlikely because they formed the regional forces to oppose the ruling BJP and the Congress-AIUDF alliance in the opposition.
So, Congress has to be content with the current alliance. The question now is whether the grand old party will come back to power after being dethroned by the BJP in 2016. With its primary architect and political stalwart Tarun Gogoi gone, it will be difficult for the Congress.
The Congress, which had ruled the state for three terms since 2001, and won 26 out of 126 legislative assembly seats in 2016, now has only 20 members in the House.