Assam academician quits as adviser of Akhil Gogoi’s party

Hiren Gohain’s resignation was against the jailed activist’s political stand involving the minority-based All India United Democratic Front

Noted academician and intellectual Hiren Gohain has resigned as the chief adviser of Raijor Dal over the political stand of its president, jailed rights activist Akhil Gogoi, involving the minority-based All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF).

Mr. Gogoi had in an open letter asked all Opposition parties to field consensus candidates across Assam’s 126 Assembly seats in order to prevent the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from retaining power. But he wanted the AIUDF to be kept out of such an arrangement as he believed the party headed by Maulana Badruddin Ajmal was as communal as the BJP.

The first of the three-phase Assembly elections in the State is on March 27.

“Akhil Gogoi’s latest decision has gone against my long-term opinion. After this, I won’t have the little responsibility for any of their actions,” Dr. Gohain said while announcing his decision to dissociate with Raijor Dal Wednesday evening.

Mr. Gogoi has been in jail since December 19 on charges of sedition and inciting violence during the movement against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, which seeks to fast-track the citizenship of non-Muslims from three neighbouring countries who sought asylum in India till December 31, 2014.

The jailed activist, who was elected Raijor Dal’s president a few days ago, had warned that the BJP could be in power again if the Opposition did not get together for a strategic fight. This, his party said, could be done without formally joining the Congress-led grand alliance.

Apart from the Congress and the AIUDF, the grand alliance has the Bodoland People’s Front, Anchalik Gana Morcha, and three Left Front parties as its constituents.

Disagreeing with Mr. Gogoi’s views on AIUDF, Mr. Gohain said: “The Congress-AIUDF alliance was sealed in Delhi and the former cannot leave the latter now. I have my limitations where AIUDF is concerned, but I must say that their activities have not caused any huge damage in Assam.”

He added that Mr. Gogoi’s decision could not be accepted with secularism in mind.

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