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Ready to opt out of contesting polls for a united opposition: Akhil Gogoi

GUWAHATI: Jailed Raijor Dal president Akhil Gogoi today appealed to all opposition leaders to project a united chief ministerial candidate to defeat the BJP-led alliance in the Assam assembly elections. He even offered not to contest the polls himself, if needed.

In an open letter from Gauhati Medical College and Hospital where he is under treatment, Gogoi said he was apprehensive that the opposition was a divided house and was not prepared adequately to defeat the BJP in the state.

In the letter read, out to the media by Raijor Dal working president Bhasco D Saikia, Gogoi said he felt the present poll strategies of the opposition parties were not at all adequate to defeat the BJP.

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“I earnestly request to all not to pave the victory path for BJP and RSS. By opposition, he meant the Congress, CPI, CPI (M), CPI (M-L), Assam Jatiya Parishad, Anchalik Gana Morcha and Raijor Dal. I have consciously kept AIUDF (All India United Democratic Front) away from it because we cannot afford to accommodate another communal and fundamentalist party to get rid of communal and fascist party BJP. If we partner this party, we will be morally, politically and ideology weak. BJP and AIUDF are two sides of the same coin,” Gogoi’s letter reads.

Gogoi avoided any reference to the grand alliance’s new entrant Bodoland People’s Front though.

He also accused the Congress of giving a fresh lease of life to AIUDF which he termed as a “bad news for Assam’s society”.

“The AIUDF is actually strengthening the BJP. Even the minority community was bidding adieu to the AIUDF. But, the Congress has given the party a fresh lease of life. The presence of AIUDF with the Congress is the only reason that the regional parties are not aligning with the Congress,” he wrote.

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“I believe, it’s not yet too late. We can still find a solution. When Congress state chief Ripun Bora came to see me at hospital, I told him the alliance with AIUDF was a historic blunder. I appealed to Gaurav Gogoi, Pradyut Bordoloi and Ajit Kr Bhuyan to find a solution. They agreed in principle, but nothing materialized,” he added.

“I once again appeal not only to the political leaders, but also to all conscious people, intellectuals, journalists etc that we need to find a unanimous solution to get rid of the communal and fascist BJP and RSS in Assam because it is a question of existence of the Assamese society,” Gogoi concluded.

The Raijor Dal-AJP alliance has been projecting Gogoi as its candidate from Sivasagar. Although Congress and other allies have decided not to field candidates against Gogoi and AJP president Lurinjyoti Gogoi, the AIUDF recently said it would field its candidates.

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