Party says it has finalised candidates for 18 seats so far
The six-month-old Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) has named its president Lurinjyoti Gogoi as the party’s candidate for the Duliajan Assembly constituency in eastern Assam.
Its general secretary Jagadish Bhuyan, who quit the BJP in December 2019 over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, will contest from Sadiya, a constituency where the Brahmaputra begins.
The AJP was launched in September 2020 by members of the influential All Assam Students’ Union, of which Mr. Gogoi was the general secretary, and the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chhatra Parishad. The party was an outcome of the anti-CAA movement in Assam and sought to give the State a new brand of regionalism that the Asom Gana Parishad – birthed by the same organisations – had allegedly surrendered to its ally BJP.
“We have announced the candidates for 18 seats. Candidates for the other constituencies will be named soon,” Mr. Bhuyan said, dismissing reports of a rift with the Raijor Dal, another new party formed by jailed rights activist Akhil Gogoi’s group and associate organisations.
He declined to comment on the jailed activist’s view that too many Opposition alliances would help the BJP and its allies retain power in Assam. “We cannot comment on the views of another party or individual. We don’t feel so weak,” he said.
Apart from Duliajan and Sadiya, the AJP will contest from Sarupathar, Dhemaji, Khumtai, Dhekiajuli, Rangapara, Dhing, Batadrava, Dergaon, Nazira, Thaora, Bihpuria, Dibrugarh, Mariani, Tinsukia, Dhakuakhana and Margherita.
The All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), the second major party in the Congress-led majahot or grand alliance, said it would contest 24 seats. The party will contest 21 seats independently, and there will be a friendly fight with alliance partners in three.
The seats that the AIUDF will be contesting for the mahajot include the 14 it had won in 2016 and a by-election later. These are Abhayapuri (South), Algapur, Bhabanipur, Bilasipara (East), Dhing, Dhubri, Gauripur, Hailakandi, Jaleswar, Jamunamukh, Jania, Karimganj (South), Katlicherra and Naoboicha.
Anchalik Gana Morcha, a constituent of the eight-party mahajot, will field two candidates – Lachit Bordoloi from Batadrava and Manjit Mahanta from Dispur.
The grand alliance has offered two seats to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and a seat each to the CPI and CPI (Marxist-Leninist). These are Rangiya and Sorbhog, Morigaon, and Bihali.
The Congress and the Bodoland People’s Front, which is demanding at least 12 seats, are yet to announce their candidates.
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