Is the Opposition uniting against BJP in Assam?

‘Mahajot’ rallies planned in the coming month


Opposition parties are planning to come together in Assam to protest various ‘anti-people’ laws of the BJP government starting November. The announcement was made by Ripun Bora in Guwahati recently, but this is by no means the first time the Congress party has reached out to other Opposition parties in the state.

Earlier this month, Debabrata Saikia, who is the Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly had also sent out feelers to parties opposed to the BJP’s policies to align with the Congress. “If these parties truly feel that the BJP is the principal enemy of the people of Assam and their interests, they should join hands with the Congress and jointly fight the electoral battle of 2021,” Saikia had said at the time.  

On Wednesday, Ripun Bora told The Telegraph about holding discussions with different parties like the CPI and CPI-ML. “More than pre-poll mahajot, we discussed and decided that all anti-BJP parties should come together to end the BJP’s misrule. We have decided to hold joint street protests, joint meetings, joint press meets with the Left against the BJP’s misrule and anti-people policies across the state. We will prepare a common protest schedule soon. The Left also agrees to the need for a mahajot. We will continue to hold such meetings to bring other anti-BJP parties together,” Bora told TT.

Most of the anti-BJP sentiment in Assam is fueled by the party’s stand on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). While the BJP pushed for the passage of the act that welcomes persecuted non-Muslim refugees from three of India’s neighbouring countries; Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, people of Assam are opposed to it as it legitimises an influx of Bengali Hindus from Bangladesh. Assam has a long and bloody history of opposing what it sees as an influx of Bangladeshis, irrespective of their religion, into the state from across a highly porous border with the neighbouring country. Such an influx is viewed by the people of the state as a threat to their demography. This was evident in the Assam Movement that led to the signing of the Assam Accord in 1985 and resulted in the update of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) with the objective of weeding out ‘illegal’ Bangladeshi immigrants from Assam.

In fact, Saikia also concurs that CAA is the main reason why BJP needs to be ousted. He told The Sentinel, “By its very nature, the CAA is antithetical to the interests of the Assamese people, as it seeks to overthrow the Assam Accord. However, the BJP party has already imposed the CAA. This is why the BJP must be defeated and the Clauses of the Accord must be implemented.”

According to The Telegraph, apart from the CPI, CPM and CPI-ML, the Congress and the AIUDF are also inching close to sealing a pre-poll alliance. It is noteworthy though that none of the Left parties have even a single MLA in the Assam Assembly.

Meanwhile, the formation of a new political party Raijor Dol, backed by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity (KMSS) was recently announced in the state. On October 2, filmmaker Jahnu Baruah announced the formation of the party led by peasant rights leader and anti-CAA protester Akhil Gogoi who has been a political prisoner for a long time, forced behind bars by a vindictive regime on trumped up charges, every time he manages to clear his name.


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